With over 4,000 transplants conducted in Spain in 2009, Spain has once again become the world leader in organ transplants. There were 4,028 transplants performed in the country, setting a record with most of those kidney transplants followed by lung transplants. The country is responsible for providing 17% of all organ donations to the European continent and it is able to do this because on average there are 34 donors for every one million Spanish citizens. Spain has a “presume consent” law on its books where individuals are automatically considered organ donors unless they specifically ask to be opted out.
Organ donations save and improve lives nonetheless there is a cultural divide in attitudes amongst countries on this issue. For example, Japan prohibits organ transplants involving children even if it is a matter of life and death. In the country there is an overall hesitation to donate because of Buddhist attitudes towards death. The U.S. is top organ donor country however donation rates have plateau over the years and in the 1990’s actually declined.
Australia has one of the lowest rates amongst developed nations with 12 donors per million.