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The European Union Directive on Organ Donation and Transplantation

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date09/2011
JournalClinical Ethics
Journal number3
Volume6
Number of pages5
Pages117-121
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

In this Five-Minute Focus on Law, we explore the recent European Directive on Organ Donation and Transplantation (EUODD). We explain its development, note the key articles and discuss what it means for organ donation and transplantation in the UK. Before doing so, the legal status of the directive must be clarified. Directives are legislative acts of the European Union (EU), which require Member States to achieve particular results but do not determine how that result should be achieved. Member States thus have some discretion as to the exact rules to be adopted. Once a directive has been adopted by the European Parliament and Council, it must be implemented into each Member State's national law following a timetable set out in the relevant directive. For the EUODD this is 27 August 2012.1 If a directive is not implemented in time, the European Commission may initiate action in the European Court of Justice; it may also do this if a directive has been transposed into law by a Member State but has not actually been complied with.