Spinning Marathon to support patients waiting for a transplant

On the occasion of the European Organ Donation Day, the city of Luxembourg organized a “spinning Marathon” to express support to patients waiting for a transplant. Transplanted patients could also take part in the event to illustrate their “coming back to life” after receiving a transplant. The event aims to raise awareness on organ donation and to encourage people to make their position on organ donation, known to their families.

In Luxembourg, as in more and more EU Member States, the law has established an “opt-out” system. However, in practice, medical teams still seek families’ consent -which they may refuse to give. In an effort to make things easier for all involved in these situations – often emotionally difficult (while under shock, next-of-kin  must make a rapid decision); health authorities have produced a “life passport” for owners to clearly state their willingness to donate their organs in case of death.

There is still a long way to go in Luxembourg where organ donations numbers are the lowest from the EU group of countries affiliated to Eurotransplant (https://www.eurotransplant.org/cms/), the organisation that facilitates patient-oriented allocation and cross-border exchange of deceased donor organs (Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia).

In 2017, Luxembourg counted only 9 organ donors and 7 in 2018 to date.