Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Europe-Wide Donor Card Proposed

Just what Europe needs. Another list.

"The EU could soon introduce an organ donor card covering all member states.

The idea has been proposed by EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou, as a way to increase the number of organs available for transplant operations.

A survey showed most Europeans support using donor cards - but only 12% actually carry one.

Around 40,000 patients are on EU waiting lists for a transplant, and it is thought ten people a day die waiting in vain for a donor organ.

The Commission's strategy paper suggests guidelines are drawn up to control the supply of surplus organs to countries in need.

It also proposes creating organ transplant coordinators in hospitals and making better use of living donors.

Mr Kyprianou said: "Organ donations save lives. A European organ donor card, and common EU standards on the quality and safety of organ donations and transplants, could secure a sufficient and safe supply or organs."

Widespread support

An opinion poll carried out for the European Commission in late 2006 and published on Wednesday said 81% of EU citizens "support the use of organ donor cards".

It also found that 56% of Europeans are willing to donate one of their organs after they die.

Support for the idea of donating an organ was highest in Sweden (81%), and lowest in Romania (27%).

The Netherlands recorded the highest take-up of donor cards (44%), followed by Ireland (29%).

However, use of donor cards was extremely limited in member states which have joined the EU since 2004.

Dutch television will air a reality show this week in which a dying woman chooses a recipient for her kidneys. The EU executive and the Dutch government said the show was unethical.

However, the maker, BNN argued the show highlights the shortage of organ donors."

When the medical profession begins donating their time, just as free as any of my organs would be, I'll sign a donor card myself. Until then, they'll have to find someone else ready willing and able to provide them the means to charge $10K a pop for the average transplant. And thats just the surgeons share. A new kidney can cost as much as $150K, so but of course docs around the world want MORE donors.

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