Switzerland Decided Automatic Organ Donation from Any Dead

In Switzerland, which has 8.6 million people, more than 1,400 patients were waiting for transplants at the end of 2021.

Last year there were 166 dead organ donations in Switzerland, which enabled 484 transplants in patients. According to the Swiss transplant organization, Swisstransplant, in 2021, 72 people died while waiting for an organ transplant. “The public has shown that it is ready to give a chance to the people on the waiting list,” said the organization’s director, Franz Immer, after the results of the referendum were published.
The change to the “presumed consent” model has already been adopted in a number of other European countries. According to this model, people who are not interested in organ donation after death must say so explicitly, otherwise it is assumed that there will be consent. However, relatives may still refuse if they know or suspect that their loved one would choose not to donate organs.

The change to the “presumed consent” model has already been adopted in a number of countries: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, France, Spain, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic and Singapore. According to this model, people who are not interested in organ donation after death must say so explicitly before they die, otherwise it is assumed that there will be consent. However, relatives will still be able to refuse if they know or suspect that their loved one would choose not to donate organs. It is also stipulated that the rules will only apply to persons aged 16 and over.

Dr. Tamar Ashkenazi, director of the Israeli Transplant Center, said of the Swiss decision: “Only in a few years can we see if it has led to an increase in the number of donations. There were several attempts in Israel to reach a similar decision, and it did not mature. ”

Prof. J. Lavie, a member of the Steering Committee of the Transplant Center and the founder and manager of the Sheba Transplant Unit, was a partner in one of these trials. “When Yael German was health minister, a committee was set up to discuss the possibility of enacting a similar law in the country,” he says. “People from many fields, including medicine, law, philosophy and religion, participated, and I also participated. We examined the issue from all aspects and came to the conclusion that the Israeli public is not due to such legislation, as is the public in most countries.

“Instead, we decided to make the option of signing an Edi card accessible to the public: every time a citizen enters the state’s Internet service, this option opens up for him. In my opinion, such a move of actively signing an organ donation agreement is much more effective. People also know you have agreed to donate. Their organs give them priority in line for transplantation. ”
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Prof. Lavie added that the committee was convinced that the legislation would not lead to a significant increase in the number of transplanted organs, but a study conducted in the United States claims otherwise. Social psychologists Shay Davidai, Tom Gilovich and Lee Ross examined the American mindset on the subject and tried to predict what would happen if the United States joined countries where organ donation is default. They found that Americans view organ donation as an extraordinary altruism – something like a 50% donation to the charity.

The mood was then tested in other countries. It turned out that in Germany, where it is necessary to actively agree to donate, organ donation is seen as an action of ethical and costly significance. In Austria, on the other hand, where there is no need for active consent, organ donation is seen as ethically trivial and meaningless.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that if organ donation is automatic in the United States, the move will lead to a steep increase in the number of donated organs. The researchers justified this by speculating that people tend to adjust to the status quo. If the status quo is to donate organs automatically upon death, people will agree – unless they have religious or cultural beliefs that prevent organ donations.

 

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Switzerland Decided Automatic Organ Donation from Any Dead - /10

Summary

In Switzerland, which has 8.6 million people, more than 1,400 patients were waiting for transplants at the end of 2021. 

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