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Scots encouraged to make donation wishes known

Around 90 more lives could be saved each year, if family authorisation rates for organ donation increase.

The figure was revealed to coincide with the launch of the Organ Donation Scotland campaign, which is encouraging Scots to make their organ donation wishes known.

Sharing organ donation wishes remains fundamental to relatives honouring a loved one’s choices in the event of their death – and the campaign is urging people who have made the positive decision to be an organ donor to talk it through with their family. 

Since 2010/11, the family authorisation rate for organ donation – when a family member agrees that donation can proceed - has increased from 57.1 per cent to 61.6 per cent. If the rate was to further increase to 80 per cent, around 90 more lives could be saved each year. 

Transplant recipient Bob James, 61, who is approaching the one-year anniversary of his successful liver transplant, met with Public Health Minister Michael Matheson to share his story. 

The retired fire-fighter has been able to return to the full time volunteering role he loves at Glasgow’s Riverside Museum, thanks to the special gift that saved his life. 

Minister for Public Health Michael Matheson said: “Bob’s story shows how transplantation can transform lives. That is why we’re encouraging people who have made the decision to be an organ donor to share their wishes with loved ones. 

“We want Scotland to be amongst the best performing countries in the world for donation and transplantation and huge progress is being made, with a 62 per cent increase in transplants since 2007/8 and over 41 per cent of Scots now on the NHS Organ Donor Register. 

“It’s encouraging to note that the number of people waiting for a transplant has fallen to the lowest level we have seen in years, however with around 550 people in Scotland still waiting for a life-saving transplant, its important people are aware of why talking about organ donation and joining the register could save lives.” 

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