• Germany edition
 
Organ donor law starts as interest flatlines
Photo: DPA

Organ donor law starts as interest flatlines

Published: 01 Nov 2012 11:04 GMT+01:00
Updated: 01 Nov 2012 11:04 GMT+01:00

The new law means that everyone in the country will regularly be asked by their health insurer whether they want to be organ donors after their death. Although people will not be forced to answer, it is hoped many who have not considered the idea before will be encouraged to sign up.

Currently around 12,000 people are waiting for an organ in Germany, with hundreds dying each year while waiting.

The concept of fairness, with those in the most urgent medical need being put at the top of the waiting list for organs, is crucial to the pan-European system of organ donation, but was dealt a couple of hefty blows this year by scandals at German hospitals.

A leading doctor working in Göttingen is under investigation after he was accused of systematically changing the medical records of his patients to make them appear sicker than they were - in order to bump them up the transplant waiting list.

It is thought at least 25 patients were pushed up the list unfairly – leaving others in need to wait for longer, and potentially dying while they waited. Another investigation was started last month after similar suspicions emerged at a Munich hospital.

These scandals apparently did nothing to increase the willingness of people to register to donate organs after their deaths.

“The willingness to donate has stagnated since the beginning of the year, sadly,” said Health Minister Daniel Bahr on Thursday. He said he absolutely rejected exerting any pressure on people to donate their organs.

The health insurers have until next November to write to their members asking whether they want to sign up.

Statutory insurer the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) is writing to its members now. “The reports of potential manipulation with organ distribution has understandably left many people unsure,” said TK head Jens Baas.

“Therefore we are of the opinion that they now need factual and unbiased information.”

Other insurers will be contacting their members next year. The Federal Centre for Health Education says around 74 percent of Germans are in favour of donating organs after their death in principle – but only 25 percent of people have a donor card.

DAPD/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

16:18 November 1, 2012 by Englishted
Still have no idea whether or not they will take English ones as they will not take my blood donations .
19:59 November 1, 2012 by bwjijsdtd
Don't feel bad, they won't take mine either ... of course I got leukemia ... It is time for a serious debate here ... this is my body and these are my organs ... If I want to sell one ... or two, who and why do they have the right to tell me no, that a decision will be made who gets what ... If some poor sick person get's my organ, what makes the medical community think they can pay for it and maintain it to have a healthy life.
06:20 November 2, 2012 by BCSLAVE
They just take your organs here....
Today's headlines
JobTalk Germany
How to become an au pair in Germany
Photo: DPA

How to become an au pair in Germany

It’s not quite as romantic as the Nanny Diaries, nor is it as magical as Mary Poppins. But being an au pair in Germany can be fun, as Emma Anderson finds out. READ  

Merkel hails 'impressive' French reform plans
Merkel and Valls on Monday in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Merkel hails 'impressive' French reform plans

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls visited Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Monday, hoping to gain Germany's blessing for his revised economic reform programme. READ  

German Fifa exec: 'Qatar won't host World Cup'
Theo Zwanziger and one of the planned stadiums in Qatar. Photo: DPA

German Fifa exec: 'Qatar won't host World Cup'

Germany's top Fifa official said on Monday Qatar will not host the 2022 World Cup as planned, due to climate conditions. Qatar's successful bid to host the tournament has been marred by corruption and human rights concerns. READ  

Germany plans air lifts to help fight Ebola
A Liberian man holds his daughter as they wait for treatment for suspected Ebola symptoms in Monrovia. Photo: DPA

Germany plans air lifts to help fight Ebola

Germany and France will send military transport planes to West Africa to help efforts to contain the Ebola epidemic, Chancellor Angela Merkel and military officials said on Friday. READ  

Amazon workers walk out again
Amazon workers striking in Graben, Bavaria, on Monday. Photo: DPA

Amazon workers walk out again

Four Amazon shipping centres in Germany were the target of fresh walkouts on Monday in a long-running wage dispute with the US online retail giant. READ  

Half of German navy helicopters grounded
A German navy Sea Lynx helicopter. Photo: DPA

Half of German navy helicopters grounded

Half of the German navy helicopter fleet has been grounded after engineers found large tears in the panelling of a British-made machine on deployment. READ  

Germans say 'bah humbug' to early Xmas
Photo: DPA

Germans say 'bah humbug' to early Xmas

Christmas treats have already hit the supermarket shelves, but Germans surveyed by YouGov say "too soon!", while a third of respondents are for the government taking action to name a release date for holiday wares. READ  

Hoeneß pays tax bill, takes day off prison
Photo: DPA

Hoeneß pays tax bill, takes day off prison

The disgraced former president of Bayern Munich FC, Uli Hoeneß has paid €30 million of his outstanding taxes, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Monday, and has taken a day off prison. READ  

Oktoberfest 2014
Fights and a skinny dip kick off Oktoberfest
Photo: DPA

Fights and a skinny dip kick off Oktoberfest

UPDATE: Paramedics and police were kept busy at the opening weekend of Munich's Oktoberfest, treating hundreds of revellers and arresting dozens, though it was still considered a peaceful start. READ  

Child warriors, 13, leave Germany for jihad
A photograph from the jihadist affiliated group Albaraka News allegedly shows a fighter from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) tying up an Iraqi soldier Photo: DPA/EPA

Child warriors, 13, leave Germany for jihad

Children as young as 13 are travelling from Germany to Syria and Iraq to join Islamic jihadists, according to German intelligence agencies. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
DPA
Gallery
The best photos from Oktoberfest's opening weekend
Photo: DPA
Munich
Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's food
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Marks and Spencer: Win €300 toward your new autumn wardrobe
Photo: Joanna Drath, University of Tübingen
Society
Europeans descended from three tribes
Photo: DPA
Culture
Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's tents
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
Drunk teachers ruin school trip to Hamburg
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Oktoberfest 2014: The best and worst in dirndl fashion
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
Photo: DPA
Education
German universities tumble in global rankings
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
The three types of firms hiring foreigners
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Frisky couple shock Berlin commuters
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,328
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd