Organ donations in Switzerland reached a record high in 2023

Organ donations in Switzerland reached a record high in 2023

Swisstransplant, the foundation for organ donation and transplantation in Switzerland, has reported that 310 people were organ donors in 2023. This is the highest number of organ donations ever recorded in the country.

More organ donations despite high rejection rates

In 2023, 675 people on the organ transplant waiting list received an urgently needed organ. Of the 310 organ donors, 110 were living donors while 200 were deceased. This figure is considered to be quite high, since 58 percent of surviving relatives refuse the option of donating their deceased family member's organs. 

There are approximately 70.000 deaths in Switzerland every year and, according to Swisstransplant, almost 4.000 of them occur in the intensive care units of hospitals. In around 700 of these cases, doctors have a conversation with family members about the possibility of organ donation, but the majority of relatives decide against it when the wishes of the deceased are unknown. 

Swiss Transplantation Act comes into effect in 2026

An organ transplant is only possible if the deceased person has consented to be a donor during their lifetime. Under the current laws of consent solution, if the wishes of the person in question are unknown, the decision for organ donation falls to the family

In May 2022, voters in a referendum approved the contradiction solution, which will come into effect in 2026. With this solution, anyone who does not wish to donate their organs must state this during their lifetime, otherwise it is assumed that they agree to organ donation. Even with this presumed consent, surviving relatives can still object to organ donation on behalf of their deceased loved one. 

For more information about organ donation or to record your decision, visit the Swisstransplant website

Thumb image credit: Swisstransplant

Simone Jacobs


Simone Jacobs

Simone is originally from South Africa, where she studied Genetics and Zoology. She enjoys reading, hiking and animal training.

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