Ahead of the European Day of Organ Donation and Transplantation marked on 13 October, Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: ”I am pleased to see the number of transplants and organ donations in the EU steadily growing from year to year. Life is precious and it’s a gift we can share even after we are no longer alive. In fact, it is the greatest gift we can give to another human being and a legacy that will keep us alive in that person. I therefore encourage everyone to become organ donors and potentially help to save lives.”
According to the 2017 Annual Transplant Report (published by the Council of Europe and the Spanish Transplant Agency (Organizacion Nacional de Trasplantes – ONT), in 2017 there were 700 more transplants performed in the EU compared to 2016. While deceased donation after brain death remains the most common source of organs, living donation and deceased donation after cardiac death are growing in importance.
However, there are still major differences between EU Member States in the number of transplants and donations, something that the European Commission is tackling through a number of initiatives including especially the EU Action Plan (2009-2015) on organ donation and transplantation aimed to foster best-practices exchange amongst Member States. Further activities include the Eudonorgan, a training and awareness-building programme for professionals and civil societies or the Edith project which brings together national authorities to assess the cost-benefit of kidney transplants and develop common registries on outcome for kidney donors and recipients.
See previous articles on the role of the European Commission in the field of Organ Donation and Transplantation
More information on the European Commission’s activities here.