Questions and Answers

Transplant Support Group / Your Corner / Questions and Answers

How do I become a donor?

1. Apply online for an organ donor card, or contact our group.
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 matching organs?

Absolutely not.

If I am in good health can I sell my organs for money?

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 five years.

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 effect.

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 to stimuli.

If I am a donor, will there be a delay in funeral services?

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 country?

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 in Malta?

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 in Malta?

The first kidney transplant performed in Malta was done in the Year 1983.

When was the first corneal transplant performed in Malta?

The first eye corneal transplant performed in Malta was done in

When was the first living kidney related transplant performed in Malta?

The first living related kidney transplant in Malta was done in

When was the first living kidney unrelated transplant performed in Malta?

The first living kidney unrelated transplant was done in 2004.

When was the first Corneal transplant performed in Malta?

The first Corneal transplant was done in

When was the first Living Kidney donation performed in Malta?

The first Living Kidney donation was done in