Credit Where It’s Due for Spain’s Organ Donor Success

Spain’s opt-out system of presumed consent for organ donation is lauded for the country’s unrivaled organ donation rates. Other countries are quick idealize an opt-out transition to boost rates, but Spain’s infrastructure and culture are the much bigger determiners of its success.

Organ donation shot up with development of Spain’s Organización Nacional de Trasplantes and ICU coordination teams, which act as “PR for organ donation.” A robust, nation-wide network of over 16,000 practitioners and bedside transplant coordinators assess viability, guide patients and families through emotionally-fraught end-of-life conversations, and organize logistics to get organs where they need to go ASAP.


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