New French Legislation Governing Organ Removals for Therapeutic and Scientific Purposes
Medicine and Law: World Association for Medical Law 2005 September; 24(3): 585-603
In France the general principles of organ donation are: consent, absence of financial gain, anonymity, advertising is prohibited, healthcare safety. As regards organ removals from living persons, a panel of experts is required to give approval. The recipient's spouse, brothers or sisters, sons or daughters, grandparents, uncles or aunts and first cousins may be authorised to donate organs, as well as the spouse of the recipient's father or mother. The donor may also be any person who provides proof of having lived with the recipient for at least two years. As regards organ removals from Deceased Persons for Therapeutic Purposes, removals may be practised if the deceased did not make known their refusal during their lifetime (this may be recorded in the national registry set up for this purpose). The doctor must not seek the family's opinion, but rather ensure that the deceased did not express opposition to organ donation during his lifetime. The rule of presumed consent should apply, unless there is any danger to the health of the general public. This paper describes and discusses in detail the new legislation and its relationship to existing French legal codes.
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