Organ Donation in Germany is Inadequate
The inadequacy of organ donation in Germany is underscored by the present scientific study (1). This study is sound and practice-oriented, and the presented limitations are transparent and plausible. The causes mentioned for this deficiency, which are mainly due to donation hospitals and which are responsible for the decline in post-mortem organ donation, are in line with the experience of Bundesverband Niere e. V. (the German Kidney Patient Association). The results of the scenario analysis present the opportunity to formulate goals and strategies to sustainably increase the number of transplants. Overall, the study provides an excellent basis for all stakeholders involved for finding a solution that is secured at political, organizational, legal, and medical levels.
The authors also demonstrate their professionalism by not presenting simple and quick solutions—such as the proposal to introduce legal regulation (e.g., an opt-out solution)—but rather leaving this task to politics.
Organ donation hospitals must have a legally valid basis for organ procurement. At present, this role is taken by the family interview. In the future, each person’s own testament must be available in electronic form—thereby allowing organ donation hospitals to act in a legally secure and verifiable manner. In the emergency file, anyone would be able to enter and change their consent or rejection for organ donation at any time. The transplantation officer and the intensive care medical team must have timely access to these data. This is our goal, and it has no alternatives; achieving it will allow patients with end-stage renal failure to be offered not only types of dialysis but also kidney transplantations on the long term, at a level that is sufficient to meet demand.
Bundesverband Niere e.V., Mainz
Conflict of interest statement
The author declares that no conflict of interest exists.
|1.||Schulte K, Borzikowsky C, Rahmel A, Kolibay F, Polze N, Fränkel P, Mikle S, Alders B, Kunzendorf U, Feldkamp T: Decline in organ donation in Germany—a nationwide secondary analysis of all inpatient cases. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2018; 115: 463–8 VOLLTEXT|