Can I donate an organ or tissue while I am alive?

You may donate an organ/tissue such as a kidney or part of the liver to a person who needs it while you are alive. There are strict rules for this form of donation.

Which organs and tissue can be transplanted?

Living organ or tissue donation is transplanted from a living donor to a recipient. The following living organs and tissue can be transplanted:

  • kidneys
  • part of the liver
  • part of the lungs
  • stem cells
  • bone marrow.

Conditions for donating living organ/tissue

Living organ/tissue donation is becoming more common, partly because there are so many people on the waiting list for transplants. Living organ donation is regulated by strict rules:

  • Donation may not cause lasting damage to the health of the donor. In very exceptional circumstances, this condition may be waived, for instance if the recipient is in a critical condition and there are no alternative donors.
  • Children and young people under 18 years of age may only donate organs and tissue that can grow back again, such as stem cells (bone marrow) or part of the liver.
  • The donor may not receive payment for the donation.
  • The donor must not have been put under pressure to donate an organ or tissue.