The Netherlands: failed campaign to boost organ donation

Publié le 18 Nov, 2016

The Dutch Government is considering changing the system of organ donation to overcome the shortage of donors. To this end, a draft law is currently being examined to switch from express consent to presumed consent, i.e. “yes unless stipulated otherwise”.


At the same time, a campaign encouraging organ donation has been conducted in an attempt to register more donors. But, “the opposite result has surprisingly emerged”: 26,430 people (i.e. 83% of recently registered donors) have decided against organ donation versus 5,414 (17%) in favour. Furthermore, 11,025 people already registered have changed their mind to “no” versus 6,511 who stated “yes”.


Overall, the Dutch register has 6 million entries, 48% of whom are organ donors. 27% have expressed their refusal. The other entries concern limited authorisations or decisions taken by parents.

Institut Européen de Bioéthique (7/11/2016)

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