Addressing Organ Shortage in the European Union: Getting the Balance Right
Anne-Maree Farrell, Organ Shortage: Ethics Law and Pramatism, pp. 227-244, D. Price and M. Quigley, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2011
Posted: 22 Jun 2011
This chapter examines the problem of organ shortage in the European Union and reviews recent developments in the field, including the adoption by the European Commission of an action plan on organ donation and transplantation (2009-2014) (Action Plan) and an EU Directive setting standards of quality and safety of human organs intended for transplantation (2010/45/EU) (Organs Directive). It is argued that emerging EU governance in the field should be viewed as a positive development The Action Plan is ambitious in its scope and there is a need to ensure that the predominant focus remains on implementing effective strategies to address organ shortage in the EU context. To this end, there is a need to prioritize the implementation of efficient and effective organizational structures for achieving the objective of increased organ availability at national level, particularly through deceased organ donation. This needs to be the main priority given the available evidence that achieving this objective offers the best way forward for reducing the current shortage of organs. While the Commission views the establishment of a legally-binding EU-wide regulatory regime in the field through the Organs Directive as complementary to the Action Plan, there is a need for ongoing evaluation with regard to the likely and actual transaction costs that may be involved in implementing the regime at national level. Such implementation should not result in additional or unexpected administrative and regulatory burdens at national level, to the detriment of focusing on the main challenge of addressing organ shortage.
Keywords: organ donation, organ transplantation, European Union, Organs Directive
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