Partit Demokratiku calls for automatic organ donation

Organ donation in Malta should be default unless people actively opt out of it, Partit Demokratiku argues

Every Maltese citizen should automatically be placed on the donor register unless they specifically opt out, the newly-fledged Partit Demokratiku has said.

“We note with satisfaction the decision taken by the current administration to honour the wishes of donors after their death by upgrading the law,” the PD said in a statement. “However, we would like to see Malta go a step further and make organ donation a default situation at the time of a person’s death, with the need to actively opt out from doing so rather than opting in.”

Such an opt-out stance on organ donation has been adopted by a number of European countries, including Spain, Austria, Belgium and recently France.

However, parliamentary secretary Deborah Schembri had warned in 2015 that such a system could backfire, arguing that people don’t like having organ donation imposed on them by the state.

The new organ donation law, launched by health minister Chris Fearne in December, will ensure that people’s express wishes to donate their organs are legally binding. If a person doesn’t fill up the donation form before they die, then the onus will fall on their next of kin to decide whether their organs should be donated or not. 

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