Differences in Organ Donation and Transplantation in States Within the United States and in European Countries: Is There a Benefit to Opting Out?

Ryan J. Vela, Jessica Pruszynski, Tom Mone, Patricia Niles, Matthias Peltz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Organ donation in the United States currently requires explicit consent by an “opt-in” approach. Some European countries have reported an increase in donation rates with an “opt-out” strategy. We hypothesized that regional differences in decision making affect organ donation rates in different countries and suggest no single approach will reliably increase organ donation rates. Methods: Donation and transplantation rates in European countries and states within the United States with populations of >10 million and a minimum organ donation rate of 10 donors per million were compared. 2016 International Registry in Organ Donation and Transplantation data and the 2016 Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients annual report were used for European countries and US states, respectively. Comparisons by region and donation model were made. Results: Deceased organ donor rates and transplants did not differ between opt-in and opt-out models. Living donation was increased in all opt-in entities. When comparing European countries, there was a trend toward higher organ donation rates in opt-out countries than in opt-in countries. Donation and transplantation rates of US states were higher than both European opt-in and opt-out countries. Conclusion: There were no differences in deceased donor organ donation when considering the donation consent model. These data do not support that an opt-out approach will increase the number of transplants in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2801-2806
Number of pages6
JournalTransplantation proceedings
Volume53
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Transplantation

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