Organ donors in Italy 2002-2019

In Italy, the number of organ donors as well as the number of transplants performed considerably increased over time. In 2019, Tuscany was the region with the highest number of organ donors per million inhabitants in the country. Kidney and liver transplant were the most common surgical procedures. Nonetheless, the number of patients active on a liver transplant waiting list declined considerably between 2008 and 2019.

The principle of explicit consent or dissent

Organ donation is the act of giving a part of one’s own body to a person waiting to receive a transplant. It is a safe and established therapy for the treatment of serious organ failure. There are two types of procedures: deceased organ donation and living organ donation. The first one takes place whenever the organ comes from a corpse and in Italy it is more common than living donation. Living donation can be performed only for certain kinds of organs and often it requires a family or affective bond between the donor and the recipient. In Italy, the willingness to donate organs is regulated by the principle of explicit consent or dissent, while the principle of tacit consent has never been enacted.

Comparison to organ donation worldwide

In 2019, Italy - with roughly 25.3 deceased organ donors out of one million inhabitants - was the European country with the eighth highest rate of deceased organ donors. Spain ranked first with a rate of over 49 deceased donors per million population. Moreover, in a recent survey conducted in 29 selected countries worldwide, 66 percent of Italians expressed their willingness to donate their organs, against an average of 61 percent of respondents from around the world.

Number of organ donors in Italy from 2002 to 2019

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Release date

March 2020



Survey time period

2002 to 2019

Supplementary notes

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Statistics on "Organ transplants in Italy"

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