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Organ Donation and Transplantation

At any one time, due to a shortage of organs, more than 500 people in Scotland are waiting for an organ to become available to give them the transplant they desperately need.

The UK Organ Donation Taskforce (ODTF) published a report in 2008 which focused on the obstacles to organ donation and suggested solutions to deliver an increase in transplants.

The Scottish Government accepted these recommendations in full and embarked on an ambitious implementation programme which was led by the Scottish Donation and Transplant Group:

Since 2008, Scotland has made significant progress, with a significant increase in organ donation rates.  However, we recognise that there is still much more that can be done.

In 2013 the Scottish Government published its plan for organ donation and transplantation over the coming years:

Following a public consultation, the Scottish Government has announced the intention to bring forward legislation on a soft opt out system of organ and tissue donation.  You can read more about this here.  The Scottish Government consulted on increasing organ and tissue donation, including proposals for a potential soft opt out system of donation from 7 December 2016 to 14 March 2017.  The analysis of the consultation responses, along with copies of all the responses where respondents gave permission for their response to be published, are on the Citizen Space webpages.

Paediatric and Neonatal Organ and Tissue Donation

The Scottish Government has been working with clinicians, nurses, midwives, charities, family members and other stakeholders to provide guidance for staff on how to enable donation in cases where a baby or child has sadly died or is expected to die.  As a result, guidance has been prepared for staff working in neonatal and paediatric intensive care units and other staff who may work with children with fatal injuries or conditions.  Separate guidance has also been prepared for staff in Fetal Medicine units where parents are interested in considering donation for an unborn child who is expected to die at birth.

Paediatric and Neonatal Organ and Tissue Donation – summary guidance for staff

Paediatric and Neonatal Organ and Tissue Donation – full guidance

Unborn Baby with Serious Abnormalities – guidance on organ and tissue donation options

Unborn Baby with Serious Abnormalities – organ donation options -  information leaflet for parents