Local MSP Jackie Baillie is supporting new legislation in the Scottish Parliament to increase the number of life-saving organs available for transplant. Labour MSP Anne McTaggart’s Members’ Bill would create an opt-out scheme for organ donation and has been widely welcomed by doctors and health charities.
Members’ Bills require the support of 18 MSPs from three parties to get a hearing in Parliament.
Within 24 hours of seeking support for her proposals, the bill surpassed this requirement and received the backing of 22 Scottish Labour MSPs including Jackie Baillie, along with two Liberal Democrats and one Member each from the SNP, the Conservatives and the Greens.
Having now secured the required support from MSPs, Ms McTaggart will be able to formally introduce the Bill to Parliament if the Scottish Government does not indicate that they intend to introduce any equivalent legislation by February 5th
The consultation on the proposed Bill received 559 responses from a wide range of individuals and organisations with an interest in the subject. 80% of responses from individuals were positive with support also forthcoming from organisations such as the British Heart Foundation, the British Medical Association, the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and the Scottish Youth Parliament.
“With three people dying every day across the UK we simply cannot afford to wait any longer on this issue. As the British Heart Foundation pointed out, it could take another 13 years to address organ donor shortages without a change to a ‘soft opt-out’ system. Action needs to be taken now