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Collection of cells, tissues and organs from a deceased person. What about the consent of the family?

MedExpress Team

Published Jan. 24, 2024 08:37

Collection of cells, tissues and organs from a deceased person. What about the consent of the family? - Header image
In Poland, there is a presumption of a deceased person's consent to the donation of their cells, tissues and organs. Given the accepted practice of talking to the family of a deceased person, it might be advisable - given the low public awareness of transplantation - to legally regulate the inclusion of the family in the decision-making process about the donation of a deceased relative's organs. The BRPO is writing to the Health Ministry on the matter.

Director of the BRPO's Administrative and Economic Law Team Piotr Mierzejewski asks the director of the Health Ministry's Legal Department Anna Skowronska-Kotra for her views on the matter.

The ROP is receiving requests from citizens regarding amendments to the July 1, 2005 law on the collection, storage and transplantation of cells, tissues and organs as to the presumption of consent of a deceased person for the procurement of tissues and organs. They point out that the failure to obtain free and informed consent from the donor is incompatible with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

Analysis of the case law of the European Court of Human Rights influenced the ROP to raise doubts about the completeness of the Polish legislation.

There are generally two ways to regulate consent for ex mortuo tissue or organ procurement in European legislation. Explicit, firm consent is required in the so-called American-Canadian model - the opting-in system. The condition for ex mortuo donation will be that the prospective donor agrees to the removal of tissues or organs from his cadaver after his death. It must be expressed before death and in an explicit manner - in writing or orally in the presence of witnesses. In the absence of a written ...

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