Organ donation: initiative aims to change Swiss system to ‘opt out’

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Organ donation: initiative aims to change Swiss system to ‘opt out’
Photo: Leon Neal/AFP

A group of young Swiss has launched a campaign to change the system of organ donation in Switzerland.


Under current rules, to become an organ donor upon death a person must proactively state their wishes while they are alive. But a Swiss branch of the Junior Chamber International – a non-governmental organization of young people – wants to reverse the way consent is given, reported news agencies.
The initiative ‘Save lives by favouring organ donation’, launched on Tuesday, demands the law be changed to a system of presumed consent, making everyone automatically eligible for donation unless they actively opt out.
Anyone who objects to becoming an organ donor upon their death would be able to register their refusal in a national register.
Those behind the initiative hope to significantly increase the number of organ donors in Switzerland.
Currently Switzerland has an average of 14 donors per million inhabitants, half the number in France, Austria and Italy, countries that act on an opt-out basis.
Spain, Sweden, Luxembourg, Wales and Austria also have an opt-out system.
Around one hundred people die in Switzerland each year waiting for an organ transplant, while currently there are around 1,480 people on the transplant list, said ATS.


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