MORE than half of Scots are now signed up as organ donors – a record high.
Official statistics released by the NHS show there were 148,488 new registrations in 2018.
That brings the total number of people signed up to the Organ Donor Register in Scotland to almost 2.8 million – or 51.7% of Scotland’s population.
Figures published by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) also show 829 people in Scotland received a transplant last year. But there were 563 people still waiting for an organ at the beginning of December.
The Scottish Government’s Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick said: “It’s great to have a record number of people on the Organ Donor Register.
“This increases the chance of a potentially life-saving and life-changing gift for someone this year.
“However, with more than 550 people still waiting for a transplant, I would encourage people to consider making it their new year’s resolution and join the Organ Donor Register.
“One donor can save up to nine lives and transform even more by donating tissue.”
The Scottish Parliament is considering legislation which would see the country move to a soft opt-out system for organ and tissue donation.
Under the proposals, people would be presumed to be an organ and tissue donor if they have not stated a decision.
A public consultation carried out in 2017 showed 82% support for the move.
Wales introduced a similar scheme in 2015, while MPs have backed plans to change the law in England too.