MOSCOW, November 28 (RIA Novosti) – A draft bill to ease Russia’s dead donor organ recovery procedure will soon be submitted to State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, a lawmaker said on Wednesday.
The 1992 law currently in force in Russia introduces the presumed consent policy, in which every person meeting the required medical criteria for brain death is considered a potential donor unless he or she had stated otherwise. However, medics must also get the consent from the deceased person’s close relatives.
Deputy chairman of the State Duma’s healthcare committee, Oleg Kulikov, told the Izvestia daily that the bill will cancel relatives’ right to veto the organ recovery procedure.
“Under the new bill, the organ recovery procedure can be cancelled in only one case – if a person has prohibited in a written form the extraction of his or her organs after death. A person who has no such paper on him or her in case of a sudden death, will by default be assumed to have given his organ recovery permission. Moreover, relatives will have no right to veto such a decision,” the paper said.
Kulikov said that the move was due to improve Russia’s poor transplantation statistics as compared to other states.
“In 2011, Russian doctors carried out 1,307 organ transplantations while about 2,000 such operations are required annually. The US, for example, carries out at least 20,000 each year,” Kulikov said.
Vasily Maksimov, a United Russia party lawmaker and a member of the healthcare committee, said it was high time to improve transplantation laws in Russia.
“I’m unfamiliar with the bill so far, but I would definitely take part in drafting it, from the point of view of a practicing doctor,” said Maksimov, who is also a former head of a Russian organ transplantation hospital. “In early 2000s our organ transplantation stagnated for almost ten years. We must understand that organs are being taken from a dead body, not from a living person, it’s as simple as that.”