As per a report by the Health Ministry and the International Registry of Organ Donation and Transplantation, Spain is the world’s leading country in organ donations. A commonly used standard to determine this fact is the number of deceased donors per million people and this figure stood at 34.2 for Spain last year, which is the best in the world.

The same rate for the complete European Union comprising of 27 countries stood at 18.2 while it was 26.3 for the United States, where organ transplanted surgery was initiated.

A system of transplant coordinators had been started in Spain in 1989 to tactfully persuade the families of patients who died to donate their organs and help save the life of others. The system is present in all of the 168 Spanish hospitals today and fellow EU members Italy and Portugal have also followed on the lines of Spain.

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At present, the refusal rate for organ donation at the hospitals is 15 percent. This is a big drop from the 40 percent refusal rate in the 1980s. However, the authorities aim at bringing this down further to 10 percent in the near future.

According to estimates by the Health Ministry, 20,000 more lives could be saved each year if the system which is currently followed in Spain is extended to the whole European Union.