A NEW deemed consent system of organ donation will come into force in Scotland in Autumn next year.

The Scottish Government said the new law will add to the package of measures already in place which have led to significant increases in donation and transplantation over the last decade.

It will follow a public awareness campaign of at least 12 months which will provide more information about what the changes mean and what choices people will have.

The Herald's sister title, the Evening Times, led a six-year campaign calling for the change, which has led to increases in donation rates in other European countries.

Read more: Record number of Scots registered as organ donors as 563 await a transplant 

Under the new law, if an adult does not opt-in or opt-out of donation they may be deemed to have authorised donation for transplantation. However, this will be subject to the safeguards in the Act which seek to ensure that donation will not go ahead where it would be against the person’s wishes.

Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick said: “Organ and tissue donation can be a life-changing gift. Evidence shows that opt-out systems can make a difference as part of a wider package of measures and this Act provides further opportunities to both save and improve lives.

Read more: MSPs vote to bring in opt-out system of organ donation in Scotland

“We will continue to work with key stakeholders and the NHS as we prepare for the introduction of opt-out in Autumn 2020 to ensure this legislation is implemented effectively.

“In Scotland there are an average of more than 500 people waiting for an organ transplant at any one time so it’s important that we do all we can to improve the lives of those on the waiting list.

“I would encourage people to continue to make a decision about donation, record this on the NHS Organ Donor Register and discuss it with their family.”