The Madrid Resolution on Organ Donation and Transplantation

Third Global Consultation organized by the WHO

In response to the global disparities in access to transplantation, a growing demand for organs, and the self-evident harms of transplant tourism, a meeting of 140 representatives of international scientific and medical bodies, government officials and ethicists was held in Madrid from the 23rd to the 25th of March, 2010. This T Third Global Consultation was organized by the World Health Organization, The Transplantation Society, and the Spanish National Transplant Organization (Organización Nacional de Trasplantes), and supported by the European Commission. The purpose of the meeting was to call for a global goal of national responsibility in satisfying organ donation and transplantation needs, with sufficiency based on resources obtained within a country for that country and via regulated and ethical regional or international cooperation, when needed.

The Third WHO Global Consultation carries forward the principles laid out in the WHO Guiding Principles on Human Cell, Tissue and Organ Transplantation and the Declaration of Istanbul on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism.

The Guiding Principles articulate the importance of pursuing national or sub-regional self-sufficiency in organs for transplantation, in particular through increased efforts to promote deceased donation. The Declaration of Istanbul further states that, “Jurisdictions, countries and regions should strive to achieve self-sufficiency in organ donation by providing a sufficient number of organs for residents in need from within the country or through regional cooperation.” The goal of the Madrid consultation was to confront the self-sufficiency paradigm from a practical perspective, developing a comprehensive strategic framework for policy and practice directed at the global challenges of a shortage of organs for transplantation and unmet patient needs. Therefore, the Madrid Resolution expresses both a pledge to progress in satisfying organ donation and transplantation needs, and a roadmap of how this may be achieved.