Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation – increasing the number of successful donations

Date: 10th January 2017
Category: Disability, Basic Health and Welfare

This consultation seeks views on ways in which the number of organ and tissue donors in Scotland can be increased.

Organ and tissue donation can save and significantly improve lives. Whilst there has been good progress in increasing organ donation and transplants in recent years, there are still insufficient donors to meet the number of organs needed by people on the transplant waiting list, as well as the need for tissue transplants.

This consultation looks at two ways to potentially increase the number of deceased organ donation and tissues donors - by seeking to increase numbers of referrals and by seeking to increase the number of times when donation is authorised to proceed.

The first chapter seeks views on alternative ways of potentially increasing the proportion of cases where organ and/or tissue donation is authorised. Specifically it looks at how an opt out system allowing authorisation to be deemed in certain circumstances, with safeguards, might work in Scotland. This includes authorisation for donation from adults who may not have the capacity to make their own decisions, children, and children in care.

The second chapter looks at increasing numbers of people considered as potential organ and tissue donors and whether hospital clinicians should be encouraged to refer patients who are expected to die in an intensive care unit or emergency department to a specialist nurse for organ donation in circumstances which would potentially enable them to be a donor.