Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray has slammed SNP and Tory MSPs representing the region after they voted yesterday (Tuesday 9th) against a life-saving Transplantation Bill.
The bill proposed a move to a "soft opt-out" transplant system, moving on from the current "opt-in" through the donor card scheme.
NHS Blood and Transplant have stated that moving to ‘soft opt-out’ would have resulted in 70 extra organ donors annually, which could have saved hundreds of lives every year. It would have still been possible for people to opt-in to organ donation, but the bill would also have given adults the option of appointing someone to make a decision about authorisation on their behalf.
MSPs voted by 59 to 56 to reject taking the Bill beyond Stage 1.
Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray said:
“It was extremely disappointing to see the SNP and Tories unite to vote down this life-saving Transplantation Bill. In my opinion, it’s already taken too long for ‘soft opt-out’ to be seriously debated in Parliament. Unfortunately, the result of this vote will have pushed back the possibility of introducing ‘soft opt-out’ in Scotland by years, and sadly time is a luxury that those who are waiting on an organ transplant do not have.
“This is a system which many countries across the world have been using for decades, a system which has been proven to be dramatically successful. In Scotland, NHS Blood and Transplant have stated that moving to this system would result in as many as 70 extra organ donors each year, saving hundreds of lives annually.
“With such a narrow defeat, campaigners in this region deserve to know why MSPs who are supposed to represent them voted against ‘soft opt-out’, and why some didn’t even bother to show up for the vote.”
NOTES TO THE EDITOR:
Aileen McLeod MSP (South Scotland) (SNP) – Voted Against taking the Bill beyond Stage 1
Alex Fergusson MSP (Galloway and West Dumfries) (Con) – Voted Against taking the Bill beyond Stage 1
Chic Brodie MSP (South Scotland) (SNP) - Voted Against taking the Bill beyond Stage 1
Paul Wheelhouse MSP (South Scotland) (SNP) - Voted Against taking the Bill beyond Stage 1
Joan McAlpine MSP (South Scotland) (SNP) – Was not present in Parliament
Labour’s Elaine Murray, Claudia Beamish and Graeme Pearson and the Liberal Democrat’s Jim Hume voted to allow the Bill to progress to Stage 2