Wednesday 06 July 2022

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.’

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.