Soft opt-out organ donation gives new hope to families in Scotland

30 June 2017        

Yesterday, the Scottish Government announced it will bring forward legislation to introduce the soft opt-out organ donation system.

Surgeons performing an organ transplant

The soft opt-out system is a legislation which means people will have to opt-out of the register if they do not want their organs used for transplants after their death.

There is currently desperate shortage of heart donors and moving to the soft opt-out system will help save more lives. We’re now calling for the same system to be introduced in England and Northern Ireland.

A landmark moment 

Simon Gillespie, our Chief Executive said: “Hundreds of people die every year waiting for a transplant because there is a desperate shortage of organ donors. 
“This is a landmark moment for health campaigners in Scotland and will mean more people get the life saving transplant they desperately need. 

“It’s now time for England and Northern Ireland to follow the example of Scotland and Wales, and stop families going through the agonising pain of losing a loved one while they wait for a donor.”

New hope to desperate families

James Cant, Director at British Heart Foundation Scotland, said: “BHF Scotland is delighted to hear this announcement from the Scottish Government, which will bring new hope to people awaiting an organ transplant and their families.

“The BHF has actively supported the introduction of a soft opt out system across the UK as a way to increase organ donation rates.  Currently the need for organs vastly outstrips the number donated: throughout the UK, three people a day die in need of a transplant.” 

Join the organ donor register

We support changing organ donation to a soft opt-out system. You can join the organ donor register and find out more information below.

Sign the register