Speaking in the final debate on the Scottish Government’s Human Tissue (Authorisation) (Scotland) Bill today, North East Liberal Democrat MSP Mike Rumbles thanked the public health minister for working constructively with him to make changes to the Bill that will help protect people who do not wish to donate their organs after they have died.
Mr Rumbles, who has been on the organ donation register for over 20 years, was the only MSP to vote against the Bill when it was introduced in the Scottish Parliament in June of last year.
Mr Rumbles raised concerns about safeguards in the Bill that would raise the ‘evidential bar’ for individuals who do not wish to donate organs after they are deceased ,beyond what is seen elsewhere in the UK. Forcing family members and friends to provide ‘evidence that would convince a reasonable person’ of the deceased’s wishes.
Mr Rumbles said: “This Bill could help save lives and has rightly had a lot of support from the start. I raised concerns with the first draft of the Bill because of the threshold of evidence that loved ones would have to provide to ‘prove’ the wishes of the deceased.
“I greatly appreciate the minister taking the time to make the necessary changes at Stage 2 of the Bill, he certainly did not have to do that to get it through Parliament. With this safeguard in place I was more than happy to support the Bill today.”
Notes for editors:
- Final amendment as moved by Joe FitzPatrick and passed by committee at stage 2:
35 In section 5, page 6, line 24, leave out <convince a reasonable person> and insert <lead a reasonable person to conclude>