Organ Donation Life Donation

Organ Donation in Other Countries

Death is sad. It happens at all ages. Others are those who feel the greatest damage.

Someone's place becomes empty and what a sad feeling it is if this empty place is of a young one and sudden. Between deaths, brain death is the most unbelievable. Accident is the main cause of brain death. All body organs function but the brain is dead and the deceased will not return to life. Here organ donation might be the most logical and humane decision the donor family could make. A decision easy to talk about but eventually might not cause satisfaction socially and medically.

This is not specific to Iran. Worlwide even in developed countries people do not consent to organ donation easily. Dr. Theodor Windhorst, a surgeon in Bielfeld and a member of organ donation commission in Germany believes that organ donation statistics are not acceptable in lots of countries. He says that people do not have to think about this and ordinary people have not a simplest idea about it. He believes that to improve this conditions lots has to be done. The following report is a summary about organ donation worldwide.

Austrians don't obtain consent

Worldwide 50% of brain deaths donate their organs. But each country's method is different. In some countries like Iran and Germany the person consents to organ donation by obtaining organ donor card. Or if the person doesn't have organ donor card his family consent to organ donation. Something which is not simple and lots of families have doubts about it. The heart beats but the parents should accept that death is confirmed and the heart can beat in another chest. Its this contradiction causes lots of families to refuse organ donation and eventually the brain dead is buried with his organs. Possibly that is why lots of countries do not consider the family's or the person's opinion. In Austria the person who refuses organ donation should have announced his refusal before death. Otherwise in case of brain death the organs are donated. This method has its own objections. Some know it as a force and believe that doctors should not decide like this. That is why a lot of people before death announcce their refusal of organ donation. So the statistics of organ donation in this country are low and close to 15.1 per million people.

12000 Waiting

National statistics of organ donation worldwide is 20 per million people. This number in Spain which has the highest number of donations is close to 3.34 per million. THis number in Germany is 15.8, 9.9 in Brazil and 6 in Luxembourg. The European Organ Transplant National Organization is responsible to facilitate organ donation and transplant which is located in Germany. This organization updates the waiting list and has a criteria to prioritize patients on the list. DSO organizes the steps of organ transplant. First two doctors unrelated to organ donation seperately confirm the brain death. That is when the brain death is considered a donor. German Organ Donation Commission supervises all donation and transplant steps. Currently 12000 people are on the tranplant list. But still organ donation is unknown to many.

China, Organ Trading

Organ donation does not end here. Nowadays the only problem is not lack of awareness. The fact that only few people consent to organ donation might be a serious problem but now an issue is created which is called organ transplant tourism. Rich patients in need of transplant pay for organs from poor countries.

Rinidate James, Spain's minister of health has objected to organ tourism and has said: "Stop ilegal trading of human organs and stop organ tourism in which all countries are involved."

Dr. Lonoel the coordinator of WHO has mentioned that currently an approach to fight this tourism and organ trading is created and 5 countries are known as the worst in this matter. These countrise based on WHO authorities include China, Philippine, Pakistan, Egypt, and Colombia. It is notable that transplant waiting time in China is only few days whereas in other countries it takes months for a transplant to happen. That is why in 2 years more than 400 people have left America to receive liver transplant 40% of which lived in California and New York and most of them travelled to China.

World War and First Transplants

You might be curious to know since when transplant became common. Aside from stories, the first world war improved the success of organ transplant. The famous surgeon doing organ transplant at that time was Harold Gilis. After him his assistant Archibald Macindo continued this method in world war two with the title of repairing surgery. In 1963 Jamed Hardy transplanted the lung of a deceased to a cancer patient. The patient stayed alive for 18 days but died of kidney dysfunction. In those years heart transplant was a dream for surgeons. On December 3rd, 1967, Dr. Bernard in Cape Town, South Africa, conducetd the first successful heart transplant. This patient stayed alive for 18 days. The vast media coverage of this surgery caught attention to heart surgery and it became common. Such that between 1968 and 1969 more than 100 heart transplant were done although most patients would die by the 60th day. The second patient of Dr. Bernard stayd alive for 19 months. In 1970 Darvy Cyclosporine was introduced as a key medicine for this case.

The appearance of Cyclosporine in those years was a miracle and organ transplant became a life saving surgery. In 1981 the first heart and lung transplant was done successfully at the Stanford university and the group leader counted this success as for the presence of Cyclosporine.


Organ transplant continues. In recent years face transplant has been successful and novel. Here the most important thing for doctors is for people to believe that death can't be prevented but by organ donation lots of deaths could be delayed and patients will be saved.