What is the procedure regarding organ donation in Iceland?

Ask IR

What is the procedure regarding organ donation in Iceland?

Q: What is the deal here regarding organ donation?

For example, in the UK, you can go to a chemist and get a plastic card that you sign and date and carry it around with you in your wallet.

If the worst happens then the hospital knows that you are willing to donate X, Y, Z or all of your organs and the details on this card give them the authority to use them in order to help someone else.

What happens in Iceland?

Mica Allan, Reykjavík, Iceland


A: According to, if organ donation is possible when a person passes away, physicians ask the person’s relatives if they know how the deceased felt about organ donation. If they don’t know, it is up to them to decide, which can be difficult when they are mourning.

Therefore it is recommended that people decide whether they would like to donate their organs and let their relatives know about their decision.

People can also fill out an organ donation card, like the one you mention, available at the Directorate of Health, various pharmacies, the reception of the Landspítali hospital in Reykjavík and at the offices of the Social Insurance Administration (Tryggingastofnun) around the country.

Organ donation is actually rare in Iceland compared to neighboring countries. Organs donated in Iceland go to the Nordic organ donor bank and Icelanders who require donor organs go to the Rigshospitalet hospital in Copenhagen for organ transplants.