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Legal basis

As of 2007, all organ donations and transplantations are regulated by the Federal Act on the Transplantation of Organs, Tissues and Cells (in short: Swiss Transplantation Act). Prior to this, only cantonal regulations were in force.

The Swiss Transplantation Act sets out the applicable requirements for the use of organs, tissue or cells for transplantation purposes. It is intended to contribute to the availability of human organs, tissue and cells for transplantation purposes. The Federal Act prevents the improper handling of organs and protects the donors and recipients involved in the transplantation process. It is accompanied by three ordinances:

  • The Transplantation Ordinance regulates the handling of human organs, tissue and cells as well as their removal from deceased and living persons. The organizational and coordinating functions of the cantons as well as those regarding management of the stem cell register are also specified in this decree.
  • The Organ Allocation Ordinance contains provisions governing the acceptance of patients onto the waiting list as well as general and organ-specific resolutions on allocation criteria and priorities.
  • The Organ Allocation Ordinance of the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA) provides detailed descriptions of the allocation criteria for individual organs.