Number of candidate organ donors up by 50,000

28th May 2008, Comments 0 comments

The number of candidate organ donors in Belgium has increased from 33,000 to 83,000 over the last three years.

28 May 2008

BELGIUM - The number of candidate organ donors in Belgium has increased spectacularly over the last three years from 33,000 to 83,000. The news comes from the daily Gazet Van Antwerpen.

The spectacular increase in the number of candidate donors is attributed to campaigns designed to inform the Belgians about the importance of organ donation and to encourage them to sign up as potential donors.

Professor Walter Van Doninck of the University of Antwerp tempers the good news. He says that most of the candidates will never actually be in a position to donate an organ or they will be rejected as donors for medical reasons.

"On the one hand, it's good news that the number of candidate donors has gone up so much, but on the other hand, the chance that these people will actually become donors is very small," says Professor Van Doninck.

What's more, there are 200,000 people who refuse to be donors. This is a huge amount, especially when you think that people are dying all the time waiting for an organ transplant."

People who do not formally refuse to be an organ donor are legally considered to be potential donors. In reality doctors still take the wishes of the family into account.

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