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Scotland plans to move to an opt out approach for organ and tissue donation

You may have seen news coverage around the 28th June 2017 on the Scottish Government announcement that it intends to introduce legislation to move to a soft opt out system of organ and tissue donation.

If the soft opt out system is introduced it means you will have 3 options:

  1. 1. Join the Organ Donor Register (ODR) if you want to be a donor (opt in). 
  2. 2. Record that you don’t wish to be a donor (opt-out) 
  3. 3. If you do neither 1 or 2, you may be treated as having no objection to donating your organs and tissue.

The proposed system would involve safeguards and you can read about the specific proposals here

The opt out system is not in place today. The next step is for the Scottish Parliament to consider legislation and the exact timing of this is still to be decided.

If the soft opt out system is introduced, people who support organ and tissue donation will still be able to opt in to the ODR to have their decision recorded. Anyone who has already joined the ODR will continue to be registered as a donor.

It is important that while the preparations are made for the new system that anyone who supports organ donation continues to sign up to the ODR.

Whether for the current system or the soft opt out system, if you wish to be an organ donor simply:

  1. 1. register your decision with the Organ Donor Register
  2. 2. let your next of kin know your decision

Join the organ donor register today