Currently, all countries within Eurotransplant have legislation in the field of organ donation. This reflects the national public interest in caring for their transplant patients, setting clear standards for brain death determination and prohibiting commerce in this area.

Systems of organ donation

Since Eurotransplant was founded, all member countries have installed donation- and organ transplant legislation. Gradually this has led to more governance, more accountability and more complexity of the cooperation system.

There are three current systems of organ donation:

  • Presumed consent
    This means that organ donation is automatically considered in patients diagnosed brain dead, unless they have specifically registered their wish not willing to donate. However, in some countries with a presumed consent law, doctors will still ask permission from relatives.
  • Informed consent
    This is a voluntary system of organ donation whereby relatives give permission at the time of death, usually in the knowledge that the potential donor had expressed a wish to become a donor.
  • Required request
    In the USA, physicians in charge of potential donors are required to ensure that someone speaks to the family about organ donation.
Legislation in Eurotransplant member states
Country Donor’s legal situation
Austria Presumed consent
Belgium Presumed consent
Croatia Presumed consent
Germany Informed consent
Hungary Presumed consent
Luxembourg Presumed consent
The Netherlands Presumed consent *
Slovenia Presumed consent

*As per July 1, 2020, the donor’s legal situation in the Netherlands has changed from informed consent to presumed consent.