Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation - a consultation on increasing numbers of successful donations

Closed 14 Mar 2017

Opened 7 Dec 2016

Feedback updated 3 Jul 2017

We asked

For views on ways to increase numbers of successful organ and tissue donations, including proposals to introduce a soft opt out system of organ and tissue donation.

You said

The responses to the consultation suggest that there is significant support for organ and tissue donation in Scotland, including the introduction of further measures which aim to increase donation.  The responses show significant support for the introduction of a soft opt out system, and the system as set out in the consultation.

We did

We intend to introduce legislation for a soft opt out system of organ and tissue donation as well as taking forward other measures to increase organ and tissue donation.

Results updated 3 Jul 2017

The Scottish Government undertook a consultation inviting views on ways of increasing the numbers of organ and tissue donations.  The consultation paper outlined options including the introduction of a soft opt out / deemed authorisation system.  It also suggested ways of increasing referrals by clinical teams to specialist transplant teams when they are caring for a dying or recently deceased patient.  The findings presented summarise the views of those who participated in the consultation.



Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


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.

Why your views matter

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

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What happens next

The responses to the consultation will help shape the policy on increasing organ and tissue donation and transplantation in Scotland.


  • Children and Families
  • Communities and Third Sector
  • Equality, Welfare and Rights
  • Health and Social Care