National legislation on organ donation

Main law references

Organ and tissue donation, is regulated and authorized by both living and deceased donors.  

The principal laws are:

  • Gesetz über die Spende, Entnahme und Übertragung von Organen und Geweben (Transplantationsgesetz – TPG) del 05.11.1997
  • Gesetz zur Regelung des Transfusionswesens (Transfusionsgesetz - TFG) del 01.07.1998
  • Gesetz über Qualität und Sicherheit von menschlichen Geweben und Zellen (Gewebegesetz) del 20/07/2007
  • Verordnung über die Anforderungen an Qualität und Sicherheit der Entnahme von Geweben und deren Übertragung nach demTransplantationsgesetz (TPG-Gewebeverordnung – TPG-GewV) del 26.03.2008
  • Verordnung über die Anforderungen an die Organ- und Spendercharakterisierung und an den Transport von Organen sowie über die Anforderungen an die Meldung schwerwiegender Zwischenfälle und schwerwiegender unerwünschter Reaktionen (TPG-Verordnung über Qualität und Sicherheit von Organen – TPGOrganV) del 11/02/2013

Consent or dissent to donation and donor organs. Although there has been a proposal for a law stating that ‘everyone is a donor, unless he or she declares otherwise’, currently only those who openly declare their consent to donate and/or have a card certifying their willingness to do so can proceed with donation.

Expression of consent or dissent to the donation and organs that can be donated

Consent to donation can be demonstrated from the age of 16 and refusal from the age of 14, without the need for parental authorisation. You can change your mind at any time by updating your card. An alternative to the card is to include your decision on organ removal in your living will. In Germany, any adult person can draw up a living will, which must be written and signed by hand or validated by a notary.

Currently, there isn’t a central body that lists donors, but those who are donors must carry a card showing their willingness to donate at all times.  Likewise, there is no list of objectors.

Organs that can be donated: heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas and intestines.
You can donate the following tissues: cornea and sclera of the eyes, heart valves, skin, blood vessels, bone, cartilage and soft tissue, and tissue obtained from the pancreas or liver.

National laws on organ donation


Organizations and contacts

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