1. Apply online for an organ donor card, or contact
2. Sign and carry a donor card
3. Express your wishes to your family.
The most important thing
you can do is to discuss organ donation with
your family because if you
don’t have a signed donor card, the decision
of your organ donation will be made by your legal
next-of-kin at the time of death.
What organs and tissues can be donated and how
are they used?
All organs can be donated, however in Malta the
organ transplants done locally are the heart, the
kidneys and the eye corneas. All other organs donated
may be sent abroad, should the need arise.
Will signing a donor card affect the quality of
medical care I receive?
Absolutely not. Medical
care is always based on what is necessary to
save a patient’s life.
Patients can be considered for donation only after
they are declared legally dead.
Is there an age limit for donation?
No. Potential donors are evaluated on an individual
basis, regardless of age.
However, children under 16 need their parents' consent.
Is it true that only rich people get transplants?
No. Factors such as gender, age, income or celebrity
status are never considered when determining who
receives an organ.. The organ allocation is based
on many factors including blood type, length of
time on waiting list, severity of illness and other
medical criteria. There is NO way to buy a place
on the waiting list in our country.
Are there any racial barriers to donation and
If I am in good health can I sell my organs for
No! Organs are only donated with goodwill.
Can I be a donor if I have or have had cancer?
People who have or have had some forms of cancer
can be eye donors. They could be an organ and tissue
donor if they have been cancer-free for at least
Can my organs be used if I die at home?
Unfortunately not. Organs must have a continuous
blood and oxygen supply to be suitable for transplantation.
Only individuals who have been declared brain dead,
usually in a hospital intensive care unit, have
the potential to be organ donors. However eye corneas
donation can be done when a patient dies at home
in some cases. The hospital authority must be informed
as soon as the death occurs at home with immediate
What does brain death means?
Brain death is the irreversible and complete cessation
of all brain and brain stem function. It means
there is no blood flow through the brain or brain
stem and the patient has stopped responding to
outside stimuli. It is considered legal death and
allows a death certificate to be signed. Brain
death is not the same as being in a coma, since
coma patients still have brain function and respond
If I am a donor, will there be a delay in funeral
In most cases, no. Usually
the procedure can be completed and the body will
be ready for burial.
Organ and tissue recoveries are conducted in the
operating room under the direction of qualified
surgical personnel. An incision is made, closed,
and dressed: therefore, the body’s appearance
is not changed by the donation process. Also, the
identity of the donor family is kept confidential
so no one will know that a donation took place.
How many people are waiting for organs in our
It is hard to tell exactly the number of people
who are waiting for organs, as the number changes
every now and then. However, the most needed organ for transplantaion is the kidney.
When was the first human heart transplant performed
The first heart transplant
performed in Malta was done in September 1996
at St.Luke’s Hospital.
When was the first human kidney transplant performed
The first kidney transplant performed in Malta
was done in the Year 1983.
When was the first corneal transplant performed
The first eye corneal transplant performed in
Malta was done in the early 80's
When was the first living kidney related transplant
performed in Malta?
The first living related kidney transplant in
Malta was done on the 22nd April 1983 between two siblings.
When was the first living kidney unrelated transplant
performed in Malta?
The first living kidney unrelated transplant was
done in 2004.