Organ transplantation is a method of treating patients with irreversible organ function failure.
The organs (kidneys, liver, heart, lungs, pancreas, small intestine), tissues (skin, bone parts, heartburn, blood vessels, corneas, etc.) and cells (bloodthirsty stem cells, pancreatic islet cells) can be transplanted if acquired by an organ donor.
Becoming an organ donor in Croatia
In Croatia, anyone who has not explicitly stated they are opposed to organ donation during their life is considered a possible organ donor. Although Croatian law does not require permission to use organs from the family of the deceased person, the family opinion is respected. That is why it is important for your family to get acquainted with your attitude about organ donation.
People who oppose the donation of body parts after their death need to sign a “Izjava o nedarivanju organa” (Denial of Organ Donation) with their family doctor. Denial statements are entered in the register of non-donors at the Ministry of Health.
Only Croatian citizens or those with permanent residence can donate organs freely. However, foreign citizens can donate their organs within Croatia only if they are being directed to a spouse, partner or immediate family member with written consent.
Getting an organ donor card
The organ donor card is of utmost importance as it clearly states the person’s feelings about organ donation. If a deceased person owns a donor card, the family generally respects the attitude of the deceased person and does not make an objection in contradiction to their wishes.
You may request a donor card from your primary health care practitioner or at the Ministry of Health.
Parts of the body from a dead person can be taken and donated to another person after brain death has called. It is believed that death occurs when the complete and final cessation of brain circulation (brain death) is found.
Brain death is determined in two consecutive clinical trials by a three-part commission. Physicians who determine the death of the brain are not involved in organ transplantation.
Families donating the organs of their family members who die in hospitals outside their place of residence have the right to have the costs of transportation from the hospital to the burial place paid for by HZZO.
Organ donation from live people
The organ or tissue of a living donor may be taken solely for the treatment of the recipient if there is no appropriate organ or tissue of the deceased person and there is no other approximately equal treatment method.
The ethics committee of the health care institution in which the transplant will be carried out will decide on taking organs from the living donor for the purpose of transferring to the recipient.
Those whom have donated an organ and are alive, obviously, qualify for a free dopunsko health insurance policy through HZZO.
Transplantation may only be done if the recipient has given written consent. A recipient who is not competent or is a minor must have consent provided by their legal representative or guardian.
Privacy of data
Data on donors and recipients of parts of the human body are protected as private information. Only in the case of a medically-justified reason would a medical practitioner be able to gain access to the donor health information.
Please note: All information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. For legal advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant. We can recommend one if you contact us.