After our death, some of our organs continue functioning for a while, particularly, the heart, liver, lungs, and kidney. These organs, in time taken from donors, could save the lives of others. At the same time, the surgical procedure of removing organs is far easier than taking the decision on the matter. Generally accepted legal reason for defining man dead is the death of his brain. This provision was introduced in 1980 by the American unified law on the definition of death.
In addition, in accordance with the Declaration on human organ transplantation, adopted by the World Assembly in 1987, if an organ is to be obtained from a donor after his death, the death of the donor must be stated independently by two or more doctors who are not involved in the transplantation.
Development of transplantation and its effectiveness depends largely on the legislative presumption of consent or dissent on the removal of organs after death. The presumption of consent provides that potential donor during his lifetime has given consent to be a donor.
It is legal in such countries as Finland, Sweden, Belgium, France, and Italy. The presumption of dissent comes from the admission that the person did not give consent to the removal of his organs after his death. The presumption of dissent is in force in the United States, Germany, Great Britain, and some countries of Latin America.
The presumption is becoming increasingly important from the perspective of one of the biggest problems, which impedes the further development of transplantation and saving lives, and is the shortage of organs. In particular, in the United States, according to the statistics, every day, on average, 10 people die, not getting their organ for transplantation.
In general, three men die every day for the lack of donor kidneys. In the countries of the European Union, more than 50 thousand people are in the line for transplantation. Now, for transplantation, organs of people, who formerly were not donors, are used, in particular, those over sixty-years-old or having diabetes. Thus, the transplantation of organs of animals, particularly pigs, since they have the largest number of common physiological characteristics with humans, and the creation of artificial organs are also promising. However, transplantation of human organs remains outside of the competition.
It should be noted that, subject to the existence of the presumption, not every person who would potentially agree to the removal of his organs after his death, could make it in life.
In particular, in Germany, according to opinion polls, most do not mind become donors after their death, however, the absolute minority declare their desire to do so.
According to the majority of Transplant Surgeons, the most progressive model provides an opportunity for every citizen in writing to refuse donate his organs after his death. Such refusal will be listed in the database. If there is no such refusal registered in the database, it is believed that a person was not against it. In this case, the relatives opinion would not be taken into account.