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Reorganising, to meet Europe's organ transplant needs

brussels bureau

Reorganising, to meet Europe's organ transplant needs


The European Commission has proposed that each country in the EU should have a quality and safety authority for human organs, including a traceability system.

Proposals presented by EU Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou will now be discussed by EU ministers. She said: “There are more than 56,000 patients waiting for a suitable organ within the European Union. In 2006 alone, more than 5,500 patients died whilst on a waiting list, it is estimated that around 10 persons every day die waiting for an appropriate organ.”

Brussels suggests that data collection on specific organ characteristics should be standardised to simplify organ exchange. Reluctance to donate is one of the most sensitive questions.

In the UK, which has been studying reform of its own donor consent laws, the rate is a little more than 13 donations per million people. The EU average is almost 19. Spain’s rate is 34.

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