• Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

Denmark Proposes to Make Organ Donors by Default: A Move to Increase Transplant Efficiency Sparks Controversy.


Feb 11, 2024
Foreign countries urged to adopt Denmark’s policy on organ donation for all adults

Denmark is considering a change to its law that would make all citizens organ donors by default. Currently, only those who have separately registered for it are on the list. If the change goes through, Danes will have to declare separately if they do not want their organs to be used after their death. This proposal aligns with many European countries where it is assumed that the deceased is a potential organ donor unless they have specifically declined during their lifetime.

The purpose of this change is to increase the number of available organs for transplants, as over 400 Danes are currently on the waiting list for a new organ. The government emphasizes that people would always have the option to get off the list of organ donors and that relatives of the deceased could also decide that their organs may not be used.

Opposition to the plan comes from the Danish Ethics Council, which recommends against changing current policy regarding organ donation. They argue that people should have the right to decide about their own body and there are no clear differences between countries in terms of organ donations, regardless of whether people are automatically or manually listed as donors. However, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen does not want to force this proposal through and instead wants to spark a broad discussion on the matter.

Last year, 113 Danes donated their organs after death, with about two-thirds indicating whether they wanted their organs used or not. The foreign minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, believes that increasing this share is important and believes that by making everyone an automatic donor, it will encourage more people to make a decision about organ donation.

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