Int J Med Sci 2013; 10(11):1547-1551. doi:10.7150/ijms.7027 This issue

Short Research Communication

Shifting towards an Opt-Out System in Greece: A General Practice Based Pilot Study

Emmanouil K. Symvoulakis1, Adelais Markaki2✉, Christos Galanakis3, Spyridon Klinis4, Myfanwy Morgan5, Roger Jones6

1. Private Family Practice Unit in Heraklion, Crete, Greece
2. Department of Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Crete, Greece
3. Private Family Practice Unit in Chania, Crete, Greece
4. Primary Health Care Unit of Alonakia, Siatista, Greece
5. King's College London, Dept. of Primary Care and Public Health Sciences, London, UK
6. Emeritus Professor of General Practice, King's College London, UK

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Symvoulakis EK, Markaki A, Galanakis C, Klinis S, Morgan M, Jones R. Shifting towards an Opt-Out System in Greece: A General Practice Based Pilot Study. Int J Med Sci 2013; 10(11):1547-1551. doi:10.7150/ijms.7027. Available from

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New legislation in Greece towards presumed consent for organ donation, effective as of June 2013, has come at a critical moment. This pilot study aims to explore awareness, specific concerns and intentions about the new organ donation framework among patients attending Greek general practices in a rural and urban setting. Only 2.6% of respondents had a donor card, a mere 9.6% was aware of new legislation, whereas only 3.8% considered that the public had been adequately informed. Higher income respondents were more likely to be aware that they would be considered organ donors upon death, unless declared differently. Urban practice respondents were less likely to have previously discussed with a significant other their intentions in regards to presumed consent. One quarter of all respondents (22.4%) intended to carry out their right to prohibit organ removal upon death. Survey results reveal that organ donation reform has yet to be disseminated by the Greek society, underscoring the urgency for targeted information campaigns.

Keywords: organ donation, presumed consent, opt-out, general practice, Greece