European Day for Organ Donation & Transplantation

In 2013, Belgium will host the 15th edition and it will be celebrated on Saturday, 12 October, in Brussels.


The need for organ transplants is increasing worldwide. The on-going lack of available organs has resulted in an increase in the number of patients on the waiting list. In 2012, in the European Union (EU) alone, 61,000 people were waiting for organ donations. Each day, on average, 12 people died while waiting for a transplant.


The idea behind this Day, initiated by the Council of Europe, is to help a different member state each year to encourage debate and provide information on organ donation and transplantation, legal and medical measures so that each person can decide on donation and make their wishes known to their family.


It is about helping member states to promote organ donation and transplantation, and mobilise hospitals and professionals on the identification of potential donors. It is also an opportunity to honour all organ donors and their families and to thank transplantation professionals throughout Europe whose hard work helps saving lives and improving the quality of life of many people.


Programme of the day


In partnership with the Council of Europe, the Belgian health service, SPF Santé publique, Sécurité de la Chaîne alimentaire et Environnement will be organising various activities:

  • A music concert on 11 October in St. Michael and Gudula Cathedral in honour of donors and their families;
  • Plenty of activities for the family and stands distributing information on organ donation (Place de la Monnaie, Brussels); 
  • A Tree of Life - tree planting ceremonies in memory of all donors;
  • Cyclists from across the country will converge and meet in Brussels city centre (Place de la Monnaie);
  • The famous national emblem, the Manneken Pis will be presented with a new costume wearing the slogan 'Yes to organ donation'.

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