Organ donation: for a life that goes … another is reborn!

In Italy, 3,190 transplants were performed in 2006, while in 2007 transplants fell to 3,043.

All the fault of the increase of “NO” to the donation!

This is because relatives oppose the removal of the organs of their loved ones.

Oppositions to the removal of organs take place because there is a lack of dissemination of correct information on the subject.

In our country, the sensitivity towards this issue has greatly increased since, 40 years ago; we were penultimate in Europe in number of donors.

70-80% of Italians in 2019 is in favour of donation, we are in third place in Europe, after Spain and France as the number of donors; for quality of transplants we are even in first place.

Today, when a deceased person has not explicitly declared consent to organ donation, the family is asked not to oppose the withdrawal. “Sometimes for family members it is a difficult decision to make and in about 30% of cases there is a refusal,” says Massimo Cardillo, director of the National Transplant Center (Cnt). «While with the assent-silence, in the moment in which nothing is declared, nobody can oppose. The objective, however, continues, is to avoid conflicts with family members and therefore to inform all citizens well. This is being done in the three countries where silent assent is in force, Great Britain, France and Spain ».

The consent on the identity card.

From 2013, we can express the consent to donate organs also on the identity card. In practice, at the time of issuing or renewing the document, every citizen, having reached the age of majority, has the possibility to express his consent or refusal to donate, by signing a form delivered by the registry office operator. The data acquired is not indicated on the identification document, but is sent directly via computer to the Transplant Information System. However, the possibility remains to change one’s will later. So far, 24 municipalities have been activated that have registered 18,658 declarations of will: 94.1% expressed a consensus and 5.9% expressed an opposition.

Other ways to express consent.

The declaration may also be issued at the counters of health units, hospitals or clinics of general practitioners, at the Centers Regional Transplant, by a declaration on plain paper, dated and signed or prepared cards (blue card sent by the Ministry of Health in 2000, the donor card of the Association of donors and patients) to be kept in their personal documents. So far, over 140,000 declarations have been collected through the Health Authorities and more than 1,200,000 through Aido, the Italian Association of donors of organs, tissues and cells.

A heart, liver and kidney transplant does not prevent us from “returning” to a normal life; on the contrary, almost 90% of patients can return to work after surgery, recovering their daily life.

Each of us can save lives, expressing our yes to donations.

Donation is an expression of reciprocity and solidarity.