Human organ and (or) tissue transplantation in the Republic of Armenia

“My body is my property!” –everyone is convinced of this.

Since Soviet times, our mentality has been implanted with the fact that the will of a person, even after his death, acts in relation to what belongs to him by nature.

In other words, even after death, each of us has the right to dispose of his body.

But is this really the case in the twenty-first century within the legal framework?

Today, representatives of all countries are serious about the above issue, respectively, and strive to create a fairly serious legal framework for human organ and tissue transplantation. However, the means and methods of legal regulation of this issue on the part of the state depend on which of the two existing principles is observed by the country concerned.

So, all over the world, modern transplantology distinguishes two principles of organ and tissue removal: the presumption of consent and the presumption of disagreement.

The presumption of consent States that the deceased is initially not against the removal of his organs and tissues after his death, if he does not Express his disagreement in any form.

Thus, the Law of those countries where the principle of consent prevails allows for transplantation in the absence of the will of the deceased to disagree.

The will of the deceased person can be expressed both in writing and orally in the presence of witnesses.

As for the presumption of dissent, it implies that the deceased is inherently opposed to transplantation. According to the Law of those countries where the principle in question prevails, the removal or transplantation of organs and (or) tissues of the deceased is possible only if there is a written confirmation (statement) of the donor’s consent to the transplantation in relation to their transplant objects during their lifetime.

According to the presumption of disagreement, the will of the deceased person must be stated exclusively in writing.

It is important to note that both in the case of the first principle and the second, the will of a close relative of the deceased person is equated with the will of the deceased himself.

Now let’s focus on the legislation Of the Republic of Armenia.

Which of these two principles applies to our territory?

On the issue of human organ and tissue transplantation, the RA Law “on human organ and/or tissue transplantation” has been in force in the Republic of Armenia since April 16, 2002.

This RA Law establishes the legal basis for human organ transplantation, as well as the rights and obligations of the donor on the territory of Armenia.

From the General meaning of the Law, we can say that the Republic of Armenia is based on the principle of “presumption of disagreement”.

According to Article 6 of the above Law, transplantation is carried out with the written consent of the recipient. And Article 7 establishes: “Organs and (or) tissues from a corpse for the purpose of transplantation may be removed only in cases where the person in question has given written consent to this during his lifetime.”

A mandatory condition for carrying out a transplant in the Republic of Armenia from a living donor or cadaver is the absence of other medical means that would guarantee the preservation of life and (or) restoration of the patient’s health (article 2 of the RA Law “on transplantation of human organs and / or tissues”).

Thus, the first step on the part of the Armenian state has already been taken – a regulatory legal act has been adopted that provides Armenian citizens with the opportunity to undergo transplantation.

However, the main problem of modern transplantology in Armenia is a significant lack of donor organs.

Every year, dozens of citizens in Armenia require kidney transplants only, and, unfortunately, their number is steadily growing. As a result, it is advisable to adopt a Law based on the principle of “presumption of consent”.

In other words, in the Republic of Armenia, the institution of refusal, rather than permission, should operate for organ transplantation of cadavers.

On the basis of the refusal Institute, anyone who does not want their organs and / or tissues to be used to save the lives of other people after their death can write a statement of refusal, and the electronic register of refusals will display information that there is no legal reason to use this person’s organs.

If a person does not Express their will in writing, Armenian medical workers will be able to use their organs and (or) tissues.

At the same time, this innovation will effectively serve the interests of the Armenian people only if people are informed about it.

Be informed in order to fully dispose of your property-your body!

Generally speaking, this innovation is humane, because it makes it possible to save the lives of other people living on the territory of Armenia.

In the end, if a transplant from a deceased donor is not legally allowed in the future, then there is no point in talking about saving people’s lives in this way at all.

The next important problem that exists is the problem of our Armenian mentality, according to which Armenians are biased against the proposal to take the organ and (or) tissue from the deceased.

It is necessary to make the Armenian society aware of the importance of this issue, so that people agree to transplant their organs in the event of their death in order to prolong someone’s life.  It is obvious that no Armenian citizen will object to a free organ transplant if necessary.

It is high time to think: will we agree to become donors in the event of death?