2,584 sign up as organ donors since enactment of new law

A single person has so far expressly stated that s/he does not want to become an organ donor

tim_diacono
Tim Diacono
11 February 2017, 9:25am
Unlike the old donor card system, the new organ donor registry is legally binding and cannot be overruled by a person’s next of kin
Unlike the old donor card system, the new organ donor registry is legally binding and cannot be overruled by a person’s next of kin
2,584 people have registered themselves as organ donors since a new law regulating organ donation came into force last December. 

Data as at the end of January seen by MaltaToday shows that the vast majority of these respondents have chosen to donate all of their organs and tissues upon their death. 2,561 people have chosen to donate their kidneys – more than any other organ or tissue. In contrast, corneas are the least popular organ or tissue on the list, with 2,541 choosing to donate them. 

2,560 people have agreed to donate their small bowel, 2,558 their lungs, 2,555 their pancreas, 2,559 their heart, 2,550 their cartilage, 2,557 their heart valve, 2,552 their ligaments, 2,550 their tendons, and 2,552 their bone tissues. A single person has so far expressed the wish not to be a donor upon death. 

Unlike the old donor card system, the new organ donor registry is legally binding and cannot be overruled by a person’s next of kin. If a person does not fill up a form before dying, then the onus will be on his/her next of kin to decide whether to donate the organs or not. 

Launching the register in December, health minister Chris Fearne said that 140 people are currently awaiting organ transplants, with the majority in need of a kidney or cornea, but that only 40 organ transplants were carried out in 2016.

The Democratic Party (PD) has called for the system to be changed so that every Maltese citizen is automatically registered as an organ donor unless they expressly opt out, a similar system as used in Spain, France, Austria and Belgium.