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Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation: Analysis of Responses

DescriptionThe 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.
Official Print Publication Date
Website Publication DateJune 28, 2017


ISBN 978 1 78851 057 8
PPDAS 266095

This document is also available in pdf format (641 KB)

Table of contents



Executive summary

1. Introduction and background
Policy context
The consultation
About the analysis
About the report

2. Responses and respondents
The responses
The respondents
Response rates

3. Views on a soft opt out system (Q1)
Views of those who supported the principle of a soft opt out system
Views of those who did not support the principle of a soft opt out
Support for other types of organ donation systems
Other issues raised by respondents in relation to an opt out system

4. The current opt in system (Q2)

5. Taking account of the views of family members (Q3)
Arguments in favour of adhering to the individual's wishes
Arguments in favour of allowing families to override the wishes of individuals
Other comments

6. The operation of a soft opt out system (Q4 and Q5)
Views on the proposed checks (Q4 and Q4a)
Decision-making where a donation may distress the donor's family (Q5)

7. Explicit authorisation in a soft opt out system (Q6 - Q9)
Excepted categories of people (Q6 and Q6a)
Adults with incapacity (Q7)
Age at which deemed authorisation would apply in children (Q8)
Authorising organ and tissue donation for looked after children (Q9)

8. Donations of less common types of organs or tissue (Q10)

9. Pre-death tests and treatments for potential donors (Q11 - Q13)
Views on pre-death tests (Q11 and Q12)
Views relating to pre-death tests
Provision of transplant-related medication before death (Q13)

10. Involvement of authorised representatives (Q14)
Circumstances in which an authorised representative might be useful
Views of other respondents

11. Health service practices (Q16 and 17)
Issuing of CMO guidance (Q16)
Involving specialist staff in approaches to families (Q17)
Other comments

12. Equality impacts and implications (Q18)
Negative impacts and implications
Positive impacts and implications
Views of those who did not think there were any equality impacts or implications
Other comments

13. Other comments (Q15)

Annex 1: Organisational respondents

Annex 2: Question response rates