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Doctors reject call for relaxed organ donor rules

DDP/The Local · 30 Aug 2010, 08:26

Published: 30 Aug 2010 08:26 GMT+02:00

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Members of the ruling conservatives have called for a relaxation of the consent rules so that brain-dead patients' organs could be used if they had not previously objected. This, the politicians argue, would boost the number of much-needed organs being donated for transplantation.

But Frank-Ulrich Montgomery, vice president of the peak doctors' body, the German Medical Association (BÄK), told daily Tagesspiegel such a change would exacerbate existing resentments against organ donation.

“It does more harm than good,” he said.

Under the proposal, organs could be gathered from a brain-dead patient provided they had not previously objected to such a removal. At present, patients need to have specifically given their approval for their organs to be used for donation – or their family must give the consent on their behalf.

Montgomery also rejected suggestions that every person should be compelled to state during their lives whether or not they wanted to donate organs. People had a right not to be forced to address the end of their lives, he said.

On Sunday, Rolf Koschorrek, a member of the parliamentary health committee for the CDU, described potential revisions to the law as a "chance to significantly improve the supply of donor organs" in Germany.

Health Minister Philipp Rösler said the law should not overstep its bounds: "In regards to this issue, I think there's only one option: You have to persuade people," Rösler told the paper.

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"There is also no direct connection between the legal basis and the number of donations," he added.

According to government statistics, some 12,000 people in Germany are currently waiting on organ transplants.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:21 August 30, 2010 by NYsteve
Relax the rules, but administer the results!!! Organ donation is the BEST gift any human can give to another human....BAR NONE!

Countless lives can be saved or improved...there is NO down-side....except in this case...bureaucracy...which CAN be overcome.

The only thing that need to be done while you are alive is have an organ donor card...and carry it with you always!
11:56 September 8, 2010 by moistvelvet
So on the one hand they're advocating organs being taken from brain dead people unless they opt-out, yet when it comes to something less serious like Street View then they would prefer to refuse Google to run this innocent service unless people opt-in?

Hypocracy and misguided priorities.
17:16 September 8, 2010 by recherche
Making donation of organs the default position is very wrong. It is a gift that some may wish to bestow, and some may not. But emptying a corpse of it's organs in the operating room may not hold much appeal to all loved ones. It is not inhuman or callous to say no.
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