Brussels, 23 October 2006
REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT on the promotion by Member States of voluntary unpaid donation of tissues and cells
In accordance with Article 12 of Directive 2004/23/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 setting standards of quality and safety for the donation, procurement, testing, processing, preservation, storage and distribution of human tissues and cells, this report summarises the measures taken by Member States to endeavour to ensure voluntary unpaid donations and identifies the measures the Commission intends to take at Community level. The individual national reports can be consulted on the SANCO website: http:///ec.europa.eu/health/ph_threats/hu man_substance/blood_tissues_organs_en.ht m
This report covers the donation of tissues and cells in general. The donation of reproductive cells more specifically has been the object of a separate report. The information received from the Member States on the measures taken to endeavour to ensure voluntary unpaid donations of tissues and cells has been complemented where appropriate with the findings of the report on reproductive cells.
2. THE PRINCIPLE OF VOLUNTARY UNPAID DONATION
The principle of voluntary unpaid donation of tissues and cells was recognised for the first time in Spain in 1979 and in Luxembourg, Belgium and Finland in the early 1980s. Although the principle of voluntary unpaid donation for blood has been an accepted practice for over 50 years in many Member States, most Member States have recognised the principle for tissues and cells only since the 1990s or since 2000.
Since 2006, the principle has been legally recognised by all 24 reporting Member States. The two Member States (Cyprus and Malta) that had no regulation governing the principle of voluntary unpaid donation of tissues and cells introduced it in their legislation when transposing the Tissues and Cells Directive. The UK and Ireland have now introduced the principle in legislation where it used to be in guidelines before (see Figures 1 and 25).
No Member State is aware of cases where donors have been remunerated for the donation of tissues and cells.
Twenty-four Member States have sent in a national report, Greece has not done so yet.