Minister to reject opt-out organ donor scheme

The government’s working party on organ donation will not formally hand over its report to health minister Ab Klink because he has already rejected its main recommendations, the Volkskrant reports on Wednesday.

The committee says everyone should be considered an organ donor unless they formally request not to be included in the register. At the moment, the register works on an opt-in basis. The changes would boost the number of organ donors by 25%, the committee says.
Klink, however, feels there is ‘too big a chance that people will become donors when they would rather not have done so,’ the Volkskrant quotes the minister as saying. He is also said to doubt how many new donors an opt-out list would generate.
‘We will not take part in a charade,’ a spokesman for the Dutch transplant foundation, which is part of the working party, told the paper.
Last year, 152 people died, mostly of kidney failure, because of a shortage of transplant organs. Some 1,400 people are waiting for a new organ.
Three years ago, MPs also rejected the idea of an opt-out register. According to Trouw, such a system still lacks a parliamentary majority. Because it is an ethical question, MPs are free to vote according to their conscience. Five Labour MPs are opposed, the paper says.
The national donor register has some 5.3 million names, of which 56% have volunteered for donation, 30% are opposed and the rest willing to leave it up to their surviving family to decide.

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