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Willing donors

Although 73% of adult population would donate their organs after death, organ donation legislation is still unclear to many.

Although much of the regulation regarding organ donation is unclear to the general public, more than 60% of the population would be willing to donate their organs, a recent study by Szinapszis Kft, carried out at the request of WEBBeteg.hu, revealed.

In Hungary, a so-called opt-out voluntary system is in effect: anyone who has not refused is considered a donor and his or her organs and tissues may be taken for transplant. This legislation is known by 46% of people, while 38% wrongly believe that only those who have given their official consent (for example, have filled out a donor card or signed up for a donor list) can have their organs removed/transplanted.

A further 16% don’t whether the opt-in or the opt-out legislative system is in effect. With age, however, the number of those who do know the legislation increases. While under the age of 35, 33% know the correct laws, above 55, 55% are knowledgeable about the current regulations.

An impressive 73% of adult population would donate their organs after their death; a further 8% would donate them to a close relative or friend. Overall, just 3% would refuse to become a donor.

Among those who know the legislation, the proportion of people who would donate their organs without any restrictions in terms of the recipient is significantly higher (83%), than among those who are uncertain about or ignorant of it (26%).

Interestingly, people’s views on organ donation have not changed in the past two years. Szinapszis Kft carried out a similar study in 2009 with nearly or entirely same results. Then 75% of people were ready to donate their organs and 6% would refuse to do so.

In 2010, the Organ Coordination Office in Hungary received 287 donor reports and there were 159 organs removed for transplantation. The youngest donor was eight months old, the oldest 72 years old. The average age of donors was 47.7. Thanks to organ donation programs, 410 transplants using the organs of Hungarian donors were carried out.