National legislation on organ donation
Main law referencesIn Austria, the legal basis for organ and tissue donation is the “Organtransplantationsgesetz – OTPG”, i.e. the “Federal Act on Human Organ Transplantation”.
Expression of consent or dissent to the donation and organs that can be donatedOrgans can only be donated voluntarily and free of charge. The text of the law regulates both organ donation by deceased persons and organ donation by living persons. With regard to organ donation by deceased persons, the Austrian legal situation follows the so-called extended contradiction solution, which means that organ removal from a potential donor is generally permitted after brain death has been determined as long as the deceased did not object to organ donation during his lifetime or his relatives did not object after his death. In Austria, an objection to organ donation is defined as a statement by the person concerned expressly refusing organ donation. This statement can be made in writing (e.g. a piece of paper in the identity card, an informal letter) or orally (relatives can give evidence of the oral objection made by the deceased or they can object themselves). Entering the objection in the objection register, however, offers the highest level of legal certainty, since hospitals are legally obliged to query the objection register before removing organs from brain-dead persons and must document the request by entering a request number. In the case of organ donation from the living, explicit written consent is required, signed by the donor, which can be revoked at any time. While alive, it is possible to donate kidneys (statistically the most frequent option), parts of the liver and lungs.
National laws on organ donation