Become a Donor

Become a Donor

 

Slovenia Transplant, in cooperation with the Health Insurance Institute and the Ministry of Health of Slovenia, made it possible for insured persons wishing to become organ donors after death to record their decision for donation on their health insurance card already in the year 2004.  One of the aims of this project is also to inform the general public about the meaning of organ donation as the highest form of help to our fellow men, and to encourage people to join the donor register.

 

According to Dr. Danica Avsec, Director of  Slovenia Transplant,  »Organ donation means extending human responsibility beyond the traditional concept of helping a fellow man. As such, it is an important dimenson of a person's social responsibility – a  behaviour that we can no longer avoid due to the interdependence of all people in today's society. Organ donation is one of the most ethical forms of a person's responsibility towards other people. The  decision for organ donation is a reflexion of our personal values and  our attitude to our fellow men.

 

Every healthy person can be a donor

 

Anyone can become a donor, it is important  only that the person is healthy and does not carry an infection, especially a viral disease (such as HIV, hepatitis B and C), or suffer from a malignant disease that could spread to the recipient. The decision for organ donation after death  can be made also by a minor, but only after the completed age of 15 years. If people do not make this decision during their lifetime, their organs can be removed after death  if their next of kin do not object.

 

Doctors may remove parts of the body of a deceased donor only when death has been established  according to all regulations. Modern medicine has adopted brain death, that is the irreversible failure of all brain activity, as a person's death. This definition has been accepted also by all major religions of the modern world. Since adequate blood supply  is of key importance for  successful transplantation of organs, all conditions for organ removal must be met as soon as possible after the donor's death. This is why expressing one's willingness for organ donation already during one's lifetime is so important, because in this way precious time can be saved, which may mean a gift of life to another person.

 

A kidney, which is a paired organ, can be donated already during the donor's lifetime, but only to people  with whom the donor is genetically, familially or emotionally related. In order to prevent illegal trade and other forms of abuse, all cases of living donation must be approved by the Transplant Ethics Committee.