Wednesday 20 November 2019

Dutch MPs vote for ‘yes unless’ organ donor register

SurgeonsMPs on Tuesday gave a surprise thumbs up to a motion to establish a ‘yes unless’ system for donor organs in the Netherlands.

If the draft bill goes on to become law, everyone in the Netherlands will be considered a donor unless they specifically request to be taken off the list.

In total, 75 MPs voted in favour of the draft legislation and 74 were against. The draft bill was drawn up by D66 parliamentarian Pia Dijkstra, who was visibly emotional with the yes vote, broadcaster NOS said.

Labour, D66, the Socialists, Groenlinks, seven VVD MPs, 50Plus and one independent voted in favour of the bill, which will now be considered in the upper house of parliament. The parties which back the measure can only count on 33 seats in the senate and need 38 for a majority.

D66 hopes that by establishing an opt-out register, more organs will become available for transplant. ‘This is great news for everyone on the waiting list,’ Dijkstra said after the vote. ‘Every year, 150 people die who could have been alive with a donor organ.’

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