Chronic lung diseases cause permanent damage to the lungs.

There are few treatment options out there that can offer a lasting solution to the inevitable feeling of breathlessness, which is why the introduction of presumed consent for organ donation is a game-changing moment in the campaign to beat lung disease.

Those who have been lucky enough to receive a lung transplant have their lives transformed.

They can improve life expectancy by five years on average and many more survive beyond that.

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That extra time means a new lease of life. It means no longer being tied to an oxygen concentrator 24 hours a day. It means more birthdays and Christmases together with family.

For the lung diseases for which transplant is a viable treatment option, such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), the average survival time from diagnosis is 3 years.

Every month spent on a waiting list means more people desperately waiting for the call that could save their life.

Sadly, we know that a quarter of people on the waiting list for a lung transplant waiting list will die, or be unfit to undergo surgery, before donated lungs become available.

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Sticking with the current opt-in approach to organ donation will not be enough to meet the demand for lung transplants, especially when time is of the essence.

We shouldn’t accept a situation where someone’s chance of survival is limited because of a lack of available organs.

An opt-out system of organ donation will have the most dramatic impact on family refusal, which is one of the biggest barriers to transplant.

Read more: Opting in or out of organ donation 'should be a legal requirement'

The protections in the Human Tissue (Authorisation) (Scotland) Bill strike the right balance in ensuring that those who do not want to donate have their wishes respected, whilst at the same time encouraging more people to give the gift of life to others.

This legislation is not going to be a panacea for everyone who needs treatment for their lung condition, and we must also invest in better respiratory care.

However, the switch to presumed consent will change the conversation around organ donation, giving new hope to people with lung conditions and offering them the liberating feeling of breathing easy once again.

Joseph Carter is head of British Lung Foundation Scotland