KUALA LUMPUR, July 1 – A new law has been passed in the Netherlands making all Dutch adults organ donors after death by default, unless they decide to opt out.
It joins Belgium and Spain in adopting “opt-out” organ donation legislation.
The law requires every person over the age of 18 to proactively notify government officials if they wish to op-out of becoming an organ donor.
Under the new system, every person over 18 not yet registered as a donor will receive a letter asking if they want to donate their organs after their death.
Those who do not respond to the first letter, or to a second letter several weeks later, will automatically be considered organ donors. They may amend this and opt-out at any time.
The law helps to alleviate pressure on next-of-kin, often needing to make decisions regarding organ donations for those who have already died.
It is meant to help address a shortage in organ donations in the country.
The Dutch Kidney Foundation told the Independent, a UK media, that the vote “a real breakthrough for patients on waiting lists.”
The law is expected to be implemented in 2020.