On Tuesday 13th September, the Dutch Parliament in a vote of 75 to 74 approved a draft bill by the democratic party (D66) for an opt-out system for organ donation.
The Dutch Kidney Foundation along with patient organisations and other health foundations welcomed the vote. Tom Oostrom (director Dutch Kidney Foundation): “For many patients this is a huge step in the right direction and gives them hope. The bill still needs to pass the Senate, but this is an historic moment.” The bill will now need to be approved by the Senate, which will probably take place within a few months.
The new system enables a structural increase in the number of organ transplants, which means that the waiting list for a donor organ is expected to become shorter. Lammert Homma (40) is waiting for a kidney, “You can not imagine how happy I am that this law was approved by parliament. I’m on dialysis now to stay alive. A new kidney would give me back my freedom and my life.”
What is the Dutch opt-out system?
In this system every Dutch citizen aged 18 who does not register after repeated calls, will be registered as having ‘no objection’ to organ donation. Many European countries already have in place opt-out systems, e.g. Belgium, Spain and France.
Read the Dutch Kidney Foundation’s press release for more information.