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Raise awareness Organ donation campaign appeals to self-responsibility

Nurse takes donor heart out of a freezer box

Patients have to wait for nearly a year on average to get a donor heart.

(© Keystone/Gaetan Bally)

A public campaign has been launched to boost the number of organ donations in Switzerland.

The Federal Office of Public Health said the aim of the three-year operation was to raise awareness of the importance of donations. The government has set aside CHF3.5 million ($3.5 million).

Last year a record number of organ donors was registered, with 18.6 per one million residents. The authorities hope to increase the number to 22 by 2021.

About 80% of the population is apparently in favour of organ donations, but only very few of them let their families know about it, according to a statement published by the health office on Monday.

Campaigners warn that families might face difficult situations if they are not sure whether a deceased person gave consent to an organ donation.

Last October the Swisstransplant foundation opened an organ donor register, 12 months after a people’s initiative was launched aimed at promoting organ donations. If successful in a nationwide vote, organ donations would be based on presumed consent, reversing the current opt-in policy, which requires explicit consent by potential donors.

+ Can presumed consent put an end to the lack of organ donations in Switzerland?​​​​​​​

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