Fact Check: Ukraine Did NOT Legalize Becoming An Organ Donor Without Consent After Dying

Fact Check

  • de: Jurnaliștii Lead Stories
Fact Check: Ukraine Did NOT Legalize Becoming An Organ Donor Without Consent After Dying Consent Needed

Did the Ukrainian parliament approve a law in 2021 stipulating that Ukrainians, including children, can become organ donors posthumously, without their notarized consent and without relatives' consent? No, that's not true: This law amended the existing law on organ donation, adding that a written refusal of a previously agreed transplant does not require notarization in order to come into effect.

The claim originated from a video on TikTok on June 9, 2023, titled "Ovidiu on TikTok" (archived here) with the following caption:

Incredible!!! Ukraine!!! International organ trafficking !!!

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-06-23 at 15.43.25.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Fri Jun 23 12:02:15 2023 UTC)

On December 16, 2021, the Ukrainian parliament adopted law No. 5831, which aims to improve and increase the effectiveness of the law "On transplantation of organs and other anatomical materials to humans." The new law specified wording that provides the basis for the equality of recipients, allowed the use of modern means of communication for expressing consent and added several other things:

  • that a written refusal of a previously agreed transplant does not require notarization or confirmation by a notary of the authenticity of the signature in order for it to become effective,
  • that the state pays for all transplants, which are free for the patient,
  • and that the selection of a donor-recipient pair will be carried out by the Unified State Transplantation System, which independently conducts the selection based on certain criteria.

Organ donation has been legally possible in Ukraine since 1999. The law has been amended several times since then to improve the way consent is given and to increase the number of hospitals that can perform transplants. According to the law, any Ukrainian citizen over 18 considered healthy can consent or not to an organ transplant while living or posthumously, and the transplant material can be obtained from the body of a deceased person only if they agreed to the transplant during their lifetime.

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