• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Lawmakers push to boost rate of organ donation

The Local · 27 Jun 2011, 12:17

Published: 27 Jun 2011 12:17 GMT+02:00

The plan, which could be in place by the end of the year, aims to cut the long list of people waiting for organ transplants. Today about 12,000 people are waiting for transplants nationwide and about 1,000 of those are likely to die before a donor is found.

Under the new system, everyone in Germany will be asked at least once in their lives if they want to make a donation in the future. They question might come from doctors or perhaps insurance companies.

Experts say the current system is at least partly to blame for the shortage. Presently, Germans have to actively opt-in to say they want to donate organs in the event of their death. While family members can also choose to donate their loved ones' organs, many don’t make the decision until it is too late for transplantation.

Only 17 percent of Germans have signed up to donate organs, although research shows roughly 70 percent would be willing to do so if the process was made easier.

Details are currently being hammered out in the German Bundestag, where the idea appears to have broad support.

It has been championed by a broad coalition of German leaders including Social Democratic Party parliamentary leader Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who donated a kidney to his wife last year and earlier this year said he wanted the law passed soon.

Other solutions to Germany’s organ shortage have been discussed, such as automatically considering everyone who dies as a organ donor, unless he or she earlier actively opted out.

But that has led to concerns – which experts insist are unwarranted – that doctors could attempt to speed patients’ deaths so they could harvest their organs.

Story continues below…

One of the problems in the whole debate is that thinking about organ donation also means thinking about one’s future death, said Günter Kirste of the German Institute for Organ Transplant.

“Not everyone does that gladly,” he said. People should remember that a donor’s passing can create a chance for another person to live, he said.

DPA/The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

22:41 June 27, 2011 by Kennneth Ingle
I have great respect for every person who is ready to give part of his/her body to save the life of another human-being.

What I object to, is the impression - which those who cash in on such operations give - that organs for transplantation purposes can be removed from people who have died. This is not the case!

Only living organs can be used and these can only be taken from functioning bodies. The excuse the doctors give, in order to remove pieces from such bodies, is that the brain is already dead.

This is unfortunately not the case! As long as blood is flowing through the brain, it has a chance, however small, of recovery. Should the flow stop, other vital parts will also not be supplied with the chemicals and oxygen which is required for their continued activity.

There is a great danger, that for financial reasons, body parts will be removed from persons who otherwise might not have died. Already a global Mafia for body parts is in existence and it is duty of European politicians to protect their citizens, not to legalise ruthless experiments on living patients.
Today's headlines
This Week in History
75 years since one of Holocaust's worst massacres
Photo: DPA

On Thursday, German president Joachim Gauck spoke in Kiev 75 years after the Nazis slaughtered 33,771 Jews during one of the worst single massacres of the Holocaust.

Six things you need to know about troubled Deutsche Bank

Shares in Deutsche bank plunged on Friday morning, dragging down other European banks and markets worldwide. Here are six things to know about Germany's biggest lender.

Deutsche Bahn jacks up prices for first time in 3 years
Photo: DPA

Germany's main rail provider, the state-owned Deutsche Bahn (DB), announced on Friday that it will raise prices on long-distance train travel.

Baby found alive in suitcase with skeleton in Hanover
File photo: DPA.

A baby has been found alive, along with the skeleton of another infant inside of a suitcase in Hanover, police reported on Friday.

Morocco to speed up repatriation of illegal migrants
Photo: DPA

Morocco has agreed to streamline the procedures for the repatriation of citizens living illegally in Germany, the royal court said late on Thursday.

890,000 refugees arrived in Germany last year - not 1.1m
Photo: DPA

Previous reports had suggested that around 1.1 million people entered Germany to seek asylum last year. But now the German government has confirmed the number was actually lower.

Racist attacks cast cloud over Dresden Unity Day planning
A police vehicle in Dresden. Photo: DPA.

As Dresden prepares to host Germany’s national Unity Day celebrations on Monday, the capital of the eastern state of Saxony is upping security after a mosque was targeted by a homemade bomb.

Sinking Deutsche Bank stock sends shock across Europe
Photo: DPA

Shares in Germany's biggest lender Deutsche Bank plummeted on the Frankfurt stock market on Friday, dragging other European banks and global markets down with it, after reports some customers were pulling money out.

The Local List
10 things you never knew about German reunification
Reunification celebrations in Hanover in 2014. Photo: DPA

With German Unity Day (October 3rd) happening on Monday, Germans are looking forward to a three-day weekend. But did you know these facts about reunification and German Unity Day?

Munich pharmacy’s nighttime porno show draws crowd
Photo: DPA

When a police patrol in Munich's Sendlinger Tor area noticed a crowd gathered outside a pharmacy window they went to investigate. But the onlookers weren't interested in a new line of flu medicine.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
6,718
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd