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Biolaw and the intimate

Organ donation

In France, organ and tissue donation is governed by bioethics laws; the three main principles governing this are free donation, anonymity between donors and recipients, and presumed consent.
The Caillavet Act of 1976 stipulates that all deceased persons are considered by default to be donors unless they previously entered their name in a national opt-out register held by the Biomedicine Agency (ABM) created in 1998. Law no. 2016-41 of 26 January 2016 on the modernisation of the French health system, which came into force on 1 January 2017, confirms the terms of the Caillavet Act of 1976. All French people are presumed donors unless they express their opposition to organ removal during life, as set out in Decree no. 2016-1118 of 11 August 2016 on the terms for opting out of organ removal after death. This opposition may be expressed by entry in the national opt-out register. Individuals may also express their wishes to opt out in a written document entrusted to a friend or relative, or even by informing their friends or relatives verbally of such wishes. Individuals may be entered on the register from the age of 13, and they may decide to withdraw their decision to opt out at any time.

References:
. Law no. 2016-41 of 26 January 2016 on the modernisation of the French health system;
. Decree of 16 August 2016 approving the rules of good practice for interviewing family members in the area of organ and tissue removal;
. National Organ Donation Site.

D 18 January 2017    AAnne-Laure Zwilling

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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