The law has just been adopted by the Dutch Parliament. From now on, all citizens over 18 years of age will be automatically included in the donor register unless they explicitly refuse tos participate.
This law is aimed at increasing the number of donors. The public television channel, NOS, announced that, “During the first half of 2016, 57 people on the organ transplant waiting list died”. The report also stated that only 40% of citizens have registered as donors on the list that also includes individuals refusing to donate their organs.
This law, which was narrowly adopted by 38 votes to 36, was already deemed controversial when it was approved by the Lower House of Parliament in 2016. According to opponents, “it gave too much power to the government to decide what happens to citizens after death”. Pia Dijkstra, Member of Parliament for the Democrats66 Party, who proposed the draft bill in the first place, has meanwhile made some changes: “The authorities must consult families prior to any organ donation – otherwise the donation cannot go ahead”. The family will “always have the last word unless the deceased person explicitly refused to be registered on the organ donor list when alive”.
Dutch citizens will be consulted. They will receive two letters enquiring whether or not they agree to donate their organs. All those who fail to respond following the second letter will automatically be included in the donor register.
La Libre (13/02/2018)