The work of the Council of Europe in the blood transfusion area started in the 1950's. The relevant Committees are as follows:
- the European Committee on Blood Transfusion (Steering Committee) (CD-P-TS); and
- the Committee on Quality Assurance in Blood Transfusion Services (Expert Committee) (GTS).
These committees built the programme on blood transfusion around three major principles:
- the non-commercialisation of substances of human origin given on the basis of a voluntary and non-remunerated donation;
- mutual assistance;
- and protection for both the donors and the recipients.
With these objectives in mind, the Council of Europe concentrates on: studying the ethical, legal and organisational aspects of blood transfusion with a view to ensuring quality, increasing availability, avoiding wastage, ensuring optimal use of blood supplies and analysing the possible ethical and organisational impact of new scientific developments.