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Organ donation and transplantation: action and altruism needed to save lives


22 Apr 2008


Health & Consumers

Introducing his report on organ donation and organ transplantation to the European Parliament last night (21 April), Dr Adamos Adamou (GUE/NGL, Cyprus), sent a "forceful message" to political decision-makers at EU and national level "to mobilise existing resources, to coordinate and exchange expertise and best practices and to raise public awareness."

Dr Adamou also made a poignant plea to all EU citizens "to embrace altruism and to become donors themselves" and called for "the establishment of an effective system for the identification of individuals who could become organ donors after their death."

On the issue of organ trafficking, Dr Adamou was equally forceful and denounced "rich Western tourists" who travel eastwards to buy organs and exploit people from poorer countries and even within the enlarged European Union itself. "I cannot stress enough the need to improve controls on organ trafficking".

Congratulating Dr Adamou on his report, Czech GUE/NGL MEP Jiří Maštálka said that organ donation was a sensitive and controversial issue because of the ethical questions it raised but also because "we cannot hamper progress in medicine or the development of possibilities to help save human lives."

He called for legal instruments to be put in place to ensure that "organ donation is really donation and not a business" and urged greater cooperation, for example with bodies such as EUROPOL, to achieve this. "Our common goal should be to avoid illegal trafficking in organs and to achieve greater effectiveness of transplantation programmes as well as their availability for citizens."

The report will be voted at noon today.

Gianfranco Battistini +32 475 64 66 28
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 842 320


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