Donor Card – Giving Life. Receiving Transplant Priority.
The signatories of a donor card express their readiness to donate organs for transplant after their death and, by so doing, fulfill the noble human duty of saving life. The signature on the card represents a spiritual testament for their families and makes the decision of donating their organs easier for them.
The Organ Transplant Law, 2008, includes an article – the first and the only one of its kind in the world – that grants priority on the transplant waiting list to the signatories of the donor card and to their close relatives, should they, by misfortune, need a transplant in the future.
Priority under the Law
The Organ Transplant Law was formulated after comprehensive and in-depth discussions by a forum of ethicists, philosophers, jurists, clergymen, psychologists, and physicians. The Law grants priority on the waiting list to the organ transplant candidate holder of a donor card before other candidates with similar medical data who do not hold such a card.
The new Law also grants priority on the transplant waiting list in the following cases:
- To a transplant candidate whose first degree relative (parents, siblings, children or spouse) has signed the donor card.
- To a transplant candidate whose first degree relative died (in Israel) and his/her organs were donated for life saving.
- To a transplant candidate who has donated, or whose first degree relative has donated an organ (kidney, liver lobe or lung lobe) to a non-specified recipient, i.e. to a stranger, from the transplant waiting list.
In accordance with the definition of the conditions granting priority rights under the Transplant Law, the waiting patients shall be divided into three priority degree categories – maximum, regular and second priority.
- Maximum priority is granted to candidates if they or their first degree relative have effectively consented to organ donation from a deceased relative or have donated in the course of their life a kidney or a liver or lung lobe; to such candidates, priority shall be granted immediately after implementation of the program, with no need of a waiting period.
Priority is granted to candidates who hold a donor card.
- Second priority is granted to candidates who do not hold a donor card personally, but who have a first degree relative who holds a donor card.
Restrictions and Exceptions
Children: organ allocation to children remains unchanged and the transplant priority program under the Transplant Law does not apply to the transplant waiting list of children under the age of 18.
Emergency cases – patients in immediate life danger: these patients shall remain at the head of the waiting list; however, even in this category, priority shall be granted to patients who have signed a donor card.
Implementation of the program:
The priority in organ allocation for transplant is granted three years from the date of signing the organ donation (Adi) card.