Transplant Committee experts to the Pope for the European Day: promoting donation to put an end to organ trafficking


“Organs trafficking exists because supply and demand are out of balance: if there was more availability of organs, there would be a stop to the illegal trafficking,” So was claimed by Jose A. Nuñez, Medical Officer of the Transplantation Service Delivery and Safety (SDS) of the World Health Organization that has today participated with a delegation of about 80 experts from the Transplantation Committee of the Council of Europe (CD-P-TO) in the general hearing of the Pope, who has once again condemned the illegal sale of organs and stressed that the donation is a testimony of love for our neighbor who must safeguard, however, the certainty of death. European experts have come to Rome for the European Day for Organ Donation which will be celebrated on October 11 with a number of initiatives in several locations of the capital. “Globally, only 10% of patients receive an organ. The formula to reverse this trend is to promote the donation – the WHO expert continued – but at the same time the political authorities should take steps to a tough legislation against trafficking of human beings and organs intended for transplantation. ” The Pope greeted the delegation at the hearing and then turned a personal greeting to Gualtiero Ricciardi, the Commissioner of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (the leading technical and scientific public body of the Italian National Health Service) and Marta Lopez Fraga, the Secretary of the European Committee on Organ Transplantation (CD-P-TO).
“The Pope is a charismatic figure and it is very important that he has given a clear and strong message in favor of donation to all the different religious communities – Marta Lopez Fraga said – being head of the church, he is a reference point.”
“It ‘s the first time that a Pope – Ricciardi said – expresses also a scientific point of view, when talking about brain death determination. An organized system against illegal trafficking is a sign of love and civilization. We are happy to be at the center of this order also at a European level.”
“The pope’s words were important for all of us who strongly believe in the value of organ donation as a gesture of solidarity. The brain death is the death of the subject; the determination of death by neurological criteria that is followed in Italy provides for the most guaranteeing procedures of the world. The organ trafficking, which nevertheless exists in some countries of the world, is not possible in our country thanks to a transplant system characterized by transparency and traceability of each structure of the network involved in the process of donation and transplantation, “said Alessandro Nanni Costa, Director of the National Transplant Center.
Italy has a central role in Europe in this field. Since 2012, the director of the National Transplant Center, Nanni Costa has also chaired the CD – P – TO and since 2005, the year of its establishment, Italy has been the project leader of the European Registry of Competent Authorities for tissues and cells (Eurocet), the official register of all the competent authorities of the EU member states relating to organ donation and transplantation of cells and tissues. Thanks to the proven efficiency of the Italian transplant Network, our country is at the top for the number of organ donations and transplantation in Europe, along with Spain and France.
Saturday, October 11, Italy will host the XVI edition of the European Day for Organ Donation established in 1996 by the Council of Europe. The day will begin with an institutional ceremony attended by the highest offices of the State at the Auditorium Parco della Musica; at different times and locations of the capital, many initiatives and information activities suitable for all ages on the theme of the donation will take place and will conclude with a concert-performance at the Auditorium Conciliazione.