Law 1805 of 2016 declares that unless otherwise stated before dying, all Colombians will be organ donors as of February 2017.
In order to object to the legal provisions on organ donation, Colombians must express their desire to not be organ and tissue donors through a written document that is certified before a notary public, which that must be registered before the National Health Institute. You may also declare to not be an organ donor when enrolling in a Empresa Promotora de Salud (EPS, Health Promoting Entity), who is then required to inform the National Health Institute of your decision.
The World Health Organization states that high mortality rates in the world are related to an increase in diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, conditions that can lead a patient to experience terminal organ failure, leaving a transplant as the only option for treatment.
Those who are able to be donors are those that have not suffered from contagious diseases or metastatic cancer, are in good health and do not engage in risky behaviors such as substance abuse.
This law, approved in August by the President of Columbia, Juan Manuel Santos, is an effort to address the deficit of organs in Colombia. Currently, only 2% of those who are waiting for an organ transplant manage to receive this treatment effectively. The law also establishes sanctions for organ trafficking, “Anyone that buys, sells or deals parts of the human anatomy will be imprisoned for between three and six years.”
Organs that can be donated include:
- Vascular tissue
- Bone marrow
Keep in mind: According to an executive report on organ donation and organ transplants in Colombia released by the National Health Institute in 2015, of all transplants from that year, 86% were donors that had passed away, while the remaining percent were live donors, 94% of which were genetically related up to the third degree of consanguinity and 6% of which were due to an emotional tie.
An organ and tissue donor can benefit up to 55 lives/people. An individual can donate up to eight vital organs and 47 forms of tissue.