As part of World Organ Donation Day 2017, the Luxembourg Ministry of Health has reminded the public of the importance of organ donation for transplants.
In Luxembourg, as elsewhere, the number of organs available has been found to be insufficient to meet the needs of patients waiting for an organ transplant. Indeed, the number of samples is largely insufficient to cover the need for grafts, and it is currently the shortage of organs that constitutes the major obstacle to transplantation activities.
That being said, some progress has already been made in Luxembourg which had only three organ donors in 2016 and now this year, has already received eight organ donations. This slight increase has been attributed to an extensive information and awareness campaign carried out with the help of the association "Protransplant". Nevertheless, Luxembourg remains a red light in the Eurotransplant zone.
As of 1 January 2017, there were 14,533 patients on the Eurotransplant waiting list for transplantation from Eurotransplant. Located in the Netherlands, Eurotransplant distributes and assigns plugins for Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia. Eurotransplant works for optimal use of available organs, establishing the best possible combination of available organs and recipients.
In Luxembourg, the levy and transplant activity is coordinated by Luxembourg-Transplant, a non-profit association founded in 1983 and affiliated to Eurotransplant.
Indeed, in 1982, the Grand Duchy adopted a law on the removal of human organs and tissues, specifying that organs and tissues may be collected after the death of each resident of the Grand Duchy who has not, in his lifetime, made known in writing his refusal to such a procedure.
In practice, however, health professionals confronted with a potential donor case still obtain the consent of relatives or relatives of the deceased. For this reason, the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with Luxembourg-Transplant, has created and made available to the public an information leaflet on the subject, as well as the "passport of life" banking system, on which its holder may express their decision on organ donation.
The Ministry of Health has also launched an application for “Passport of Life" available on iPhone and Android, which informs the users’ relatives in complete confidentiality of their decision.
Finally, in celebration of World Organ Donation Day and to inform the public about organ shortages, the Ministry of Health will participate in the 9th Indoor Cycling Marathon organised by Luxembourg-Transplant at the Luxexpo Fair on Sunday 15 October 2017, from 10:00 to 18:25.