Swiss non-profit group pushes for organ donations - SWI

Plans are underway to launch a people’s initiative aimed at promoting organ donations in Switzerland next month.

The non-profit Swisstransplant Foundation said it would support efforts by the Swiss chapter of the Junior Chamber International – a group of young entrepreneurs.

The initiative wants to reverse the explicit ‘opt-in’ policy of consent by a potential organ donor and introduce the principle of presumed consent.

Two years ago, parliament rejected proposals for a policy change amid opposition by the government’s advisory commission on biomedical ethics. It argued that presumed consent jeopardises individual rights.

Swisstransplant CEO Franz Immer last week announced plans to create a national register on people willing to donate their organ.

Long waiting lists

Switzerland ranks in the last third in a European-wide comparison.

By the end of last year, there were 1,480 Swiss residents waiting for transplants – 38% more than in 2010.

Swiss non-profit group pushes for organ donations - SWI

But Switzerland registered just 111 organ donors who were in a brain-dead state or who had died of cardiac arrest.

On Saturday, Switzerland hosted the European Day for Organ Donation and Transplantationexternal link, launched by the Council of Europe in 1996. Special events took place outside the Swiss parliament building in the capital, Bern, hoping to encourage people to fill in a donor card.