The Council of Europe has been studying the issue of cord blood donation for a number of years and has always been concerned by the proliferation of private cord blood banks dedicated to the collection and storage of cord blood for autologous use.
Read more about autologous cord blood banks
The development of organ transplantation activities in the countries of the Black Sea Area (BSA) date back from the late 1970s but, from the early 1990s, they began to decline and, in some countries, even ceased. Therefore, it has become extremely crucial to identify and share experience with them from countries with well-developed and established transplantation programmes and from other local initiatives.
Read more about the BSA Project
Transplant medicine and transplantation have progressed during recent decades in a way nobody would have imagined years before. Tissue from one deceased donor may be transplanted into as many as 100 people. As with organs, the demand for some transplantable tissues and cells far outweighs the available supply.
Kidney transplantation is the best therapeutic alternative for patients with end stage renal disease, both in terms of effectiveness and cost. Countries continue to work on optimising their deceased donation programmes and their deceased donation rates, which have improved considerably in recent years. However, no country manages to cover their needs only through organs from deceased donors.
Due to continuous globalisation and the right to free patient movement, there is an increasing likelihood that a patient will try to register simultaneously for the same type of organ on the waiting lists of different organ exchange organisations, regardless of their nation of origin or residence.
As demonstrated in the joint Council of Europe/United Nations Study on trafficking in organs, tissues and cells and trafficking in human beings for the purpose of the removal of organs from 2009, the trafficking in human organs, tissues and cells is a problem of global proportions that violates basic human rights and constitutes a direct threat to individual and public health.
Consent for deceased donation in the Council of Europe member states is regulated by specific legislation, i.e. presumed versus explicit consent. The movement of citizens across jurisdictional borders is expected to become increasingly common, and hence the possibility of persons dying in conditions suitable for donation or needing transplantations outside of their countries of residence is only likely to grow.