Organ Donation Around the World
o Spain, Austria and Belgium yield the highest number of organ donors in the world.
o Italy- if the deceased did not specify, relatives will make the decision.
o America- over 121, 000 people are on the government waiting list with an average of 30,000 transplants performed each year. More than 6,000 die each year from lack of a donor, an average of 19 people per day. In 2006 the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act was revised and presumed consent was abandoned. Now consent is needed from the donor or family.
o Israel– after 2008 organ donation increased as signing an organ donor card gave benefits to the card holder. For if two patients required an organ transplant preference would be given to the one who had signed a donation card. This policy was nicknamed “Don’t care, don’t get.”
o Japan remains one of the most donor lacking countries in the developed world, lower than any western countries. This is said to be attributed to some of the following reasons;
–Distrust in western medicine
–Religion with cremation of the body (whilst whole) favoured.
–A controversial organ transplantation in 1968 provoked a ban on cadaveric organ donations which lasted the next thirty years. This left huge restrictions in medical advances and protocols.
–Organ donation is regulated by a 1997 organ transplant law, which defines “brain death” and legalized organ procurement from brain dead donors.
Why does Spain have successful organ donation rates?
Spain has remained the world leader in organ donation and transplantation for the past 23 years. It has the highest donation rate in the world with 36 donors per million people and a total of 4,360 transplant recipients in 2014. Compared to just under 20 in the UK and 23.1 in Wales.
Everyone in Spain is a donor by law in a ‘soft opt-out system.’
One doctor has attributed Spain’s success over the past 20 years to be better prepared in intensive care. Doctors there take a lead role in spotting potential donors among patients and approach the family. So they are more prepared for potential operations. Dr Matesanz states that; ‘Most donors are lost not because the family refuses but because potential donors are not detected adequately.’ As such this doctor urges families to talk about it. Transplant coordinators approach bereaved families in a sensitive way. Educating families about organ donation starts early in Spain. This attributes to the countries success.
Well trained staff, national support and a system cantered on the potential donor’s family feelings has increased organ donation from the 1990s.