More than 30,000 Scots sign up as organ donors in 2017

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More than 30,000 people in Scotland have joined the Organ Donor Register this year, new figures show.

The Scottish Government said 2017 saw 30,747 people signal their willingness to donate their organs or tissue after they die, up from the 28,393 who signed up the previous year.

The latest additions mean Scotland currently has more than 45% of the population on the Organ Donor Register, officials said.

Scottish ministers have previously announced plans to introduce a new “soft opt-out” system for organ donation north of the border.

Such a change would mean that people would be assumed to have consented to their organs being used to help others unless they had signed an opt-out, potentially increasing the number of organ transplants that can take place in Scotland each year.

Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell said: “It is amazing to see just how many potential donors have come forward – almost 31,000 people have given a potentially life-saving and life-changing gift this year.

“As everyone starts thinking about their New Year’s resolutions for 2018, I would encourage them to consider joining the Organ Donor Register.

“We’ve seen great progress on organ donation in recent years – a testament to the work of NHS staff and to the incredible generosity of donors and their families.

“But there will always be more we can do, and that’s why we will bring forward plans for a soft opt out system of donation.

“However opt out is just one of a range of measures aimed at increasing donation. Through all our work, I hope in 2018 we can continue to improve public understanding of what it means to be a donor, support friends and families to talk more openly about those choices, and see more people joining the organ donor register.”

People can register to become organ donors through the Organ Donation Scotland website.

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