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9 September European Day For Organ Donation and Transplantation


Europe lacks organs, tissues and cells for transplantation

Demand for organ transplantation is increasing all over the world, but there are not enough organs available to meet the demand. The shortage of organs is now the limiting factor in treating many patients with chronic organ failure, and has led to a major increase in the number of patients on waiting lists.

More than 143 000 patients were on
waiting lists to receive an organ in 2015 –
an increase of 5% on the previous year.

In Europe, 39 343 patients received transplants in 2015, but 47 613 new patients were added to waiting lists. Every hour in Europe 5 new patients are added to a waiting list to receive an organ.

More patients on waiting lists. A chronic lack of organs, tissues and cells. 6 702 patients died waiting for a transplant in 2015 – an increase of 7% on the previous year. On average, 18 people die every day while waiting for an organ transplant in Europe.

More Donors = More Hope!

Every single person has a role to play in helping others.

Discover the stories of Anna, Georges, Daniel and Julia:









Bring back hope to patients on waiting lists all over Europe!

The European Day for Organ Donation and Transplantation, organised since 1996, aims to encourage debate around organ donation and to increase donations of organs, tissues and cells by encouraging European citizens to help save lives.

Find out about this year’s celebrations in Bern, Switzerland, sponsored by Swisstransplant, with the support of the EDQM of the Council of Europe.

Let's talk about organ donation!

If you would like to save or improve the life of many others on the day you die by becoming an organ and/or tissue donor, let your relatives and friends know. You may also encourage them to become donors themselves.

I want to talk about organ, tissue and cell donation!

Personalise your Facebook profile photo with one of the following frames:

Figures and attitudes vary across Europe, but on average 40% of families refuse to let the organs of a recently deceased family member be given for donation. Most families may not be fully aware of the wishes of their deceased loved-ones, because the issue of organ donation was never discussed and death came unexpectedly.

Donate also when you are alive:

 You may also help others while you are alive by registering to donate haematopoietic progenitor cells (like those found in your bone marrow or peripheral blood) which can be used to treat many haematological diseases.

 After your baby is born, you may also donate the amniotic membrane (placenta) and/or the umbilical cord blood, which the baby no longer needs.

Say yes to donating your organs, tissues and cells!

Check out the information on becoming a donor in your country and discover our brochure Organ donation, Let's Talk about it!

Let's Talk about it!


Organ donation after death is a noble and meritorious act and is to be encouraged as an expression of generous solidarity

Pope Francis, Bishop of Rome


Giving is the greatest of Buddhist virtues. The Buddha in a previous life gave his body to a starving tigress who could not feed her cubs. There are many such Jātakas Tales, some in which he even gave his eyes to someone who wanted them. What loss do I suffer to give an unwanted organ after my death to give another person life?

Dr Desmond Biddulph, Chairman of The Buddhist Society


Organ donation is consistent with Hindu beliefs as it can help to save the life of others.

The Late Mr Om Parkash Sharma MBE, President, National Council of Hindu Temples UK


If you happened to be ill and in need of a transplant, you certainly would wish that someone would help you by providing the needed organ.

Sheikh Dr MA Zaki Badawi, Principal, Muslim College, London


One who saves a single life – it is as if he has saved an entire world

Pirke D’Rav Eliezer, Chapter 48


The Sikh religion teaches that life continues after death in the soul, and not the physical body. The last act of giving and helping others through organ donation is both consistent with and in the spirit of Sikh teachings.

Lord Singh of Wimbledon CBE, Director of the Network of Sikh Organisations, UK (endorsed by Sikh Authorities in Amritsar, Punjab)


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