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White Paper on Organ and Tissue Donation

Closed Consultation - Final Report Published



From:                    Ministry for Energy and Health

First published:    20 March 2015

Last updated:       26 November 2015

This consultation ended on 20 May 2015.  

1.      Background
In Malta as in many other countries, the gap between the demand and the supply of human organs for transplantation is on the rise despite, the effort of governments and organ donor associations to promote organ donation. The Maltese government is proposing this White Paper for consultation to enact a legislative framework addressing organ donation for the Maltese Islands which will reflect the evaluated response after consultation is closed.
2.      Consultation questions
1.                   Which system of organ donation do you think is most acceptable to the Maltese people, keeping in mind our culture and moral beliefs?
2.                   Do you agree that discussions between clinicians and family in the event of an individual’s death will identify and safeguard the decision of the deceased because most probably s/he would have discussed the issue with his/her family?
3.                   Do you agree that the donor card should be given a legal status to safeguard the wishes of the individual after his/her death?
4.                   What is the role of the family in safeguarding the wishes of the deceased?
5.                   This White Paper proposes that ‘individuals must have lived in the Maltese Islands for a sufficient period of time before being included within an opt-out system’ (should an opt-out system be adopted). What factors should be taken into account when determining whether an individual ‘lives in the Maltese Islands’? What should that period of time be?
6.                   Do you agree that an opt-out system for the Maltese Islands should only apply to persons aged 18 years and over? If not, why?
7.                   Do you feel confident that every effort is made to give everyone the opportunity to opt-out if s/he wishes to?
8.                   Do you think that the Maltese people are altruistic and generous enough to opt for an opt-out system by which everyone is considered a donor unless s/he opts out?
9.                   Do you think that there is a greater possibility that an individual will decide whether s/he wants to donate his/her organs after his/her demise, if an opt-out principle is introduced in the Maltese islands?
10.                Which option do you think would improve the current situation leading to an increase in organs available for transplantation?
11.                Do you have any suggestions on how to improve the current system?
12.                In your opinion, what percentage of the Maltese population would prefer to improve the current system rather than opt for another system?
13.                Does it bother you to think that when a person dies his/her organs are utilised to save the lives of others?
14.                Do you believe in the principle that it is a waste to bury organs when in actual fact they can be used to give a life to someone needing an organ transplant?
15.                Do you agree with the concept that the relatives of a prospective donor have the right to overturn the
16.                Do you agree that children over the age of 12 should be given the opportunity to register as an organ donor?
17.                Using an appropriate approach, do you agree that children at an early age should be introduced to and educated on the subject of donating organs after death?
18.                Do you agree with financial remuneration to live organ donors to cover expenses incurred due to loss of income and related matters? If in the affirmative should this state remunerate the
donor, keeping in mind the big expenses saved to cover renal, dialysis, hospital bed days and medical treatment?
3.      Submission of input
Submissions were sent in through the following channels:
By filling the online form below.
By email:
By post:   Director Healthcare Standards,
Superintendence of Public Health
Level 1 St Luke’s Hospital
All input towards this consultation was received by 20th May 2015.
4.      Documentation
5. Feeback received from individuals and organizations
Please be informed that submissions were published on the webpage of this consultation at the end of the scoping phase. The lead Ministry has sole discretion upon the publication of comments.
Received contributions, together with the identity of the contributor, will be published on the Internet, unless the contributor objects to the publication of his/her personal data on the grounds that such publication would harm his/her legitimate interests. In this case the contribution may be published in anonymous form. Otherwise the contribution will not be published nor will, in principle, its content be taken into account.  Any objections concerning the publication of personal data should be sent to the service responsible for the consultation on the following email address:
Data Protection Statement Data Protection Act (Chapter 440)
The Data Protection Act, 2001 regulates the processing of personal data whether held electronically or in manual form. The Ministry for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties collects only information which is necessary for it to perform its intended functions and is set to fully comply with the Data Protection Principles as set out in the Act.  Verification of the ID number provided will take place as deemed necessary. All personal data provided will be processed according to the Data Protection Act (Cap 440).
In addition, please be aware of:
·         Disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (Chapter 496)
As we are a public authority all documents we hold, including documents related to this public consultation process, may be released following a request to us under the Freedom of Information Act (Chap. 496), unless such request may be subject of an exemption arising from the same Act.

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