Q&A With Anne McTaggart
On Friday 7th July a few of us went into the Glasgow City Chambers to talk to Anne McTaggart who, when she was in parliament, was working hard to get a soft opt-out organ donation scheme introduced to Scotland.
Who Inspired You To Propose The Bill?
When I first went from the City Chambers over to Holyrood as an MSP The Evening Times was like my best friend because it’s about trying to get the message back out to the communities and the bill was originated from a petition that Caroline Wilson of The Evening Time and some others were bringing to parliament and it just seemed a no brainer to me that it should have been done. It wasn’t a huge challenge for me to decide i was going to do it because it just seemed like it should be done.
Did You Carry Out Any Research Before Taking The Bill To Holyrood?
We had sought evidence and advice from all different countries and especially places that had tried it and it didn’t necessarily work and I reached out to people who were awaiting organ transplants and people who had undergone organ transplants so it was all about trying to collate that evidence and just getting the bill right because you don’t want to pass a bill and for it to be wrong in The Scottish Parliament because it’s really difficult for then to back track and change that so you need to be sure you have all the evidence and are 100% sure about this being the right way forward.
You Mentioned You Talked To Lots Of Transplant Patients. Are They’re Any Stories That You Can Share?
Every single story that I’ve heard is amazing one boy Harry. Harry was a really fit and healthy swimmer and then all of a sudden he was found to have a heart defect and that was him but now he has completed his NC (National Certificate) at college he’s done his HNC (Higher National Certificate) he is now moving on to do his HND (Higher National Diploma) and I absolutely love that because it’s in baking so every time I go to meet him there is always a cake so Harry is doing really well and in the next few weeks he is going to sit his driving test.
Will You Be Attending The Transplant Games?
Yes I will be there and I look forward to seeing some of the people I talked to back in the bill research stage.
How do you feel now the bill is finally in the process of being passed?
Absolutely elated! I actually didn’t know until the night before they were ready to do it because in politics you don’t get to hear anything, you have no idea what your colleagues are doing so I was in the dark and it was a great surprise.