FOLLOWING a public consultation, the Scottish Government is introducing legislation for a "soft opt out" system of organ and tissue donation. 

Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell confirmed the new policy after 82 per cent of respondents supported the move.

This will add to the package of measures already in place to increase donation. 

Work with stakeholders will continue, to ensure that the system is developed in a way which will do no harm to trust in the NHS or to the safety of organ donation.

Ms Campbell said: “We should not forget that organ donation is a gift, which can only occur as a result of tragic circumstances and every donor and their family has made a selfless decision which has enabled others to live.

“We need to continue doing what we can in order to help reduce the numbers of people in Scotland waiting for transplants. 

"Moving to an opt out system of organ and tissue donation will be part of the long term culture change in attitudes to encourage people to support donation."

One donor can help up to seven different people.

Thanks to the latest medical advances, kidneys, heart, liver, lungs, pancreas and the small bowel can be transplanted. 

Donated tissue can also be used to help people in many ways, such as improving their eyesight or reconstructive surgery to help their bones and joints work better after a serious road traffic accident. 

This in turn may help an injured person walk again.

There are currently 558 people in Scotland waiting for an organ transplant.

The minister added: “We know that in order for opt out to be able to contribute to an increase in donation rates it has to work as part of a package of measures – that is why I would still encourage people to join the organ donor register and to let their loved ones know

that is what they want.”

If you are one of the nine out of 10 people who agrees with organ donation, it is important that you take two simple steps.

1. Register your decision to be an organ donor at or call 0300 123 2323

2. Share your decision with your family.