Record high number of Scots registered as organ donors

The number of people in Scotland registered as organ donors is at a record high, according to official statistics.

The figures, published by the NHS, indicate that there were 148,000 new registrations from people willing to be organ donors in 2018.

It brings the total number of people registered in Scotland to almost 2.8 million – or 51.7% of Scotland’s population.

Last year, 829 people in Scotland received a transplant, however more than 550 people in Scotland are currently waiting for one.

The Scottish Government has proposed measures to increase the number of potential donors.

Legislation has been under consideration at the Scottish Parliament which would see the country move to a soft opt-out system for organ and tissue donation.

It would mean that consent for donation is presumed, unless it is otherwise stated.

Wales introduced a similar scheme in December 2015, whilst MPs have also backed plans to change the law in England.

The Scottish Government’s Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick said: “It’s great to have a record number of people on the Organ Donor Register.

“This increases the chance of a potentially life-saving and life-changing gift for someone this year.

“However, with more than 550 people still waiting for a transplant, I would encourage people to consider making it their new year’s resolution and join the Organ Donor Register.

“One donor can save up to nine lives and transform even more by donating tissue.

“Thanks to the generosity of donors and their families and the work of the NHS, we’ve seen great progress on organ donation over the last few years.

“We are working on a number of measures to increase donor numbers and save the lives of more people in Scotland.

“The move to a soft opt-out scheme aims to further increase the number of donors, while honouring the donation decision that a person has made in life.”