COUNCIL OF EUROPE
COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS
of the Committee of Ministers to member states
on the role and training of professionals responsible
for organ donation (transplant “donor co-ordinators”)
(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 15 June 2005
at the 930th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)
The Committee of Ministers, under the terms of Article 15.b of the Statute of the Council of Europe,
Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve greater unity between its members and that this aim may be pursued, inter alia, by the adoption of common action in the health field;
Taking into account Resolution (78) 29 on the harmonisation of legislation of member states relating to removal, grafting and transplantation of human substances, the final text of the 3rd Conference of European Health Ministers (Paris, 16 and 17 November 1987); Articles 19 and 20 of the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine, and Articles 3 and 4 of the Additional Protocol to the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine concerning Transplantation of Organs and Tissues of Human Origin, and principles established in the 1998 Council of Europe consensus document entitled “Meeting the organ shortage”;
Considering that organ transplantation is a well-established, life-saving, and effective treatment: a successful organ transplant may be the only treatment available for some forms of end stage organ failure and is the most clinically effective and cost-effective treatment for chronic renal failure;
Considering the universal shortage of organs for transplantation;
Considering that the transplant process is complex, involves various services and therefore requires effective organisation and co-ordination of health care professionals;
Bearing in mind that in many member states the training and employment of health care professionals responsible for detecting potential deceased organ donors and organising the donation process has increased the efficiency of the procurement of organs and improved the functioning of local and national transplant systems; and that such professionals can also increase the rate of donation of tissues for transplantation,
Recommends that the governments of member states take the measures contained in the appendix to this recommendation as regards the role and training of professionals responsible for organ donation (transplant “donor co-ordinators”).
Appendix to Recommendation Rec(2005)11
1. A professional responsible for the identification of potential deceased organ and/or tissue donors should be appointed in every hospital with an intensive care unit. This professional should have appropriate training and experience, be independent of any transplant teams, and have clearly defined responsibilities for the establishment, management and audit of a hospital-based system for potential deceased donor identification and organ/tissue procurement. The person should also be responsible for monitoring the donation and procurement process and for identifying and implementing improvements. For the purposes of this recommendation, the professional will be termed a transplant “donor coordinator”.
2. Donor co-ordinators should be properly accountable to senior management of the relevant health institution and to any regional or national transplant organisations. Donor co-ordinators may be complemented by, or responsible to, other transplant co-ordinators at regional or national level.
3. Donor co-ordinators, and any other transplant co-ordinators should have a high standard of professional training consistent with internationally recognised standards, to ensure the highest possible professional and ethical standards in organ donation and procurement. Member states should establish formal national or international accreditation for donor co-ordination activities/donor co-ordinators.