Organ Donation in Malta and Gozo
We all strive to do our utmost in this short time that we have alive on this Earth. But what about after we die? Can we still do good? Through organ donation, you can continue to do so, by giving the gift of life to others after you have passed. The Human Organs, Tissues and Cell Donation Act has made this possible in Malta, setting out the context and requirements when this can be done. But what is it exactly?
Organ donation is the process through which a person can donate his or her organs, as well as tissue and cells once they have passed, to those in need. In order to do this, they must register to donate their organs, in this case with the National Organ Donor Register in Malta, to submit their consent to be a donor.
According to organdonation.gov.mt, a single organ donor can save up to eight lives. Here is some important information to take note of if you would like to donate your organs for human transplant once you have passed:
Age to Register
In Malta, you must be aged 16 or over in order to register your intention to donate your organs. You can register as an organ donor at any age thereafter. In the case of minors who are under the age of sixteen when passing, the parents or guardians will be able to take the decision on whether to make a donation.
Who can Register for Organ Donation?
Any resident in Malta can register with the National Organ Donor Register, no matter your medical condition. In this case, however, not all organs/tissues might be used depending on your medical history, and a clinician might deem the organ donated not to be suitable for a donation once you have passed. You cannot, however, register if your medical condition is a mental disorder that does not allow you to make decisions by yourself.
What About the Non-Registered?
Unless an individual has specifically registered to not be an organ donor, then that person’s next of kin upon his/her passing may accept to give a donation on the deceased’s behalf if approached by an authorised individual.
Type of Donation – Is it just Organ Donation?
It’s not just organs you can donate. You can also donate tissues and cells which are equally important when saving lives. You can also choose which organs you would like to donate and which you do not.
Is my Decision Final?
If you register to become a donor, you can always decide to change your mind. Make sure to fill out the appropriate form to update your intentions. However, if you are registered and then pass away, your friends and family will not be able to reverse your decision.
You can also become a living donor, meaning that you can donate some of your organs before you die. However, these cases are usually for blood relatives or individuals with a close emotional link.
If you are interested in donating your organs, you can contact Malta’s Organ Donation services on 2595 3324 or organdonation.gov.mt for more information. You can also download the registration form here.