Quarterly scientific journal

Organ transplantation and presumed consent: the laws n.2737/1999 and n. 3984/2011, the international experience and the glimpse at the future

Athanasios Panagiotou

Abstract

Organ donation and the issue of consent in cadaveric donations are subject of legislation in many countries. The major goals of legislation in this case are both the increase of the available organs and the respect of the dead donor’s wishes. During the last years many European countries have adopted the system of presumed consent (opt out system).In Greece, until the 1st of June 2013 an opt-in system (donor’s card) had been implemented with the dead donor’s family playing a decisive role in nearly every case. The opt-in system, taking into account that Greece had one of the lowest rates of organ donations was proved to be unsuccessful concerning its major goal. However from June 2013 (law n.3984/2011) Greece adopted a system of presumed consent as the dead donor’s family continues to play an important role in the decisions (soft opt-out) The system of presumed consent – as we know from the discussion which has taken place abroad as well as from its implementation in various countries-has both advantages and drawbacks. As a result, it is apparent that simply legislating the system of consent in organ donation is not enough in order to increase the number of available organs. Consequently, other solutions should also be adopted; solutions related to the organization of public services and the mentality of both the society and health professionals towards the issue of organ donation.

Keywords: Organ donation, cadaveric donations, presumed consent, opt-in system, opt-out system, law 3984/2011

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