How Organ Donation & Transplant Works in Israel
Hebrew: תרומת והשתלת איברים
The National Transplant Center - "ADI", established 1994, is an official and the sole body for the registration, allocation, management and coordination of organ donation and transplant in Israel. The Center is a unit within the Ministry of Health. Each organ transplant carried out in Israel - from a live or a deceased donor - requires individual authorization of the National Transplant Center. The National Transplant Center is regulated by the Organ Transplant Law, 5768 – 2008 (Hebrew document).
How it works
- Once you have decided and are willing to donate an organ after your death in Israel, you are required to sign a donor card. This card is your personal testament and eliminates the need for family members to make a decision about your organ donation.
- There is one single national waiting list containing the data of the patients awaiting transplant.
- Any patient who is an Israeli resident, based on the recommendation of his or her physician is entitled to be included in the transplant waiting list.
- The data of all the patients awaiting transplant in Israel are stored in a computerized data bank at the National Transplant Center. The data are constantly updated and they include various medical details.
- For each organ, there is a system of allocation criteria, established according to the characteristics required for the match between the donor and the recipient (such as blood type, weight and height) and the characteristics of the organ itself from an immunological point of view (degree of the necessity of tissue match), and according to the probability of providing life quality and of saving life (data such as age, waiting period, blood test results, etc.) These criteria are inbuilt in a computer program, specifically developed for and adjusted to each organ.
- When a donor whose family has consented to the donation is found in one of the Israeli hospitals, his or her data are transmitted to the National Transplant Center and are fed into the computerized system.
- The system cross-checks the data of the donor with the data of the waiting patients and locates the patients that are the most suitable for transplant.
- The organ allocation system is egalitarian and transparent.
- The Steering Committee of the Transplant Center carries out a periodic control of the allocations and updates the allocation program according to need and to the progress in transplant technology.
- In case of dilemmas, when two or more patients that are entitled to the same extent to receive the organs have been located by the computer, the National Transplant Center seeks expert advice in order to hold a medical debate and to decide to which patient the organ shall be allocated. If no decision is made at this stage, the Transplant Center holds further consultations with additional, specially appointed experts, who are not connected to or employed by the hospitals in which the transplants are to take place. If necessary, the Head of the Steering Committee and, occasionally, even the General Director of the Ministry of Health shall get involved in the decision-making.
- Priority on the transplant list is in accordance with the priority program based on the Organ Transplant Law 5768 - 2008, Article 9(b) (4).
There are waiting lists for every type of organ transplant and these lists are divided into degrees of emergency of allocation and other criteria.
What if I change my mind?
It is possible to reconsider and cancel your consent at any time. All that has to be done is to notify the National Transplant Center by means of fax or e-mail.
There are very many questions, halachic issues (Jewish law), and topics that need to be addressed before you make a decision to become a donor. ADI have a very comprehensive website - also in English - where they address every aspect of donation and transplantation.
The National Transplant Center
Noah Mozes St.15 ,67442 Tel-Aviv
Email: addy at moh.health.gov.il
You can become an organ donor by signing up on the ADI website: http://www.itc.gov.il/eng/index.html
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