The Hospital Clínic de Barcelona and the National Transplant Organization (ONT) they had been negotiating the first uterus transplant in Spain for a year and a half. At the request of the ONT, they changed the protocol, made some changes, but never got the approval of the institution that supports the entire transplant system and depends on the Ministry of Health, as sources from the ONT have confirmed to ABC.
The case of the Clínic was presented as a research project in the Transplant Commission of the Interterritorial Council, where the transplant coordinators of the 17 communities are represented and the ONT chairs. This commission values experimental interventions and its decisions have always been respected.
The commission did not like that the first uterus transplant was done with a living donor and even less with a woman who was still fertile and had to give up having more children. His proposal was that the intervention be considered with a uterus from a cadaver donor or, ultimately, from someone older and close to menopause. Nor was the pandemic considered the most ideal time to embark on this delicate project. If these proposals had been considered, the ONT would probably have agreed.
Despite the negative report, Hospital Clínic and the Catalan Transplant Association decided to go ahead. Clinic doctors did not need the permission of the ONT. The authorization of the Catalan transplant organization (OCATT) -with sufficient powers-, their hospital and the Generalitat of Catalonia was enough for them because the decisions of the commission are not binding. It is, therefore, a legal transplant, but it is the first time that a territory decides to skip the collegiate decisions of the commission.
“We will work with OCATT”
Despite the controversy, the National Transplant Organization does not believe that a gap has been opened with its Catalan subsidiary. Regardless of what happened, We will continue working with OCATT and the Clínic and assessing the result of the transplant carried out, as case by case, future transplants carried out within this research project ”, Beatriz Domínguez, director of the National Transplant Organization, assured ABC yesterday.