February 22, 2024

Germany tries to increase organ donation

But with not an opt-out system

The German government plans to increase the
number of organ donors by appointing organ transplant co-ordinators in major
hospitals to identify potential donor and to negotiate with relatives. Organ
donation has been in the news in Germany after former Social Democrat foreign
minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier donated a kidney to his wife.

Like everywhere else, Germany has a
shortfall in organ donation, but the government is reluctant to introduce an
automatic opt-in system. The German health minister, Philipp Rösler, said, “I
am not in favour of using any sort of pressure,” he said. “Organ donation
should always be a free and deliberate decision.” Spain has an extensive
network of coordinators which has made it a world leader in donation rates. ~
BMJ, Sept 1

Michael Cook
organ donation