A new law has been approved by Dutch legislators under which all adult citizens of Netherlands are deemed as potential organ donors until they choose to opt out.
The newly introduced policy is an effort to address the shortage faced by the country in organ donations.
The bill was introduced by a lawmaker of the House of Representatives Pia Dijkstra.
She has said that under the new rules, all persons over the age 18 who are not registered as a donor will be sent a letter asking them if they agree to donate their organs post death.
- The individuals will be able to respond with three options: yes, no or that another person or a next of kin will decide.
- Those who do not respond to the first letter or another similar letter sent after six weeks will get registered automatically.
- All individuals can amend the status at any time they choose.
Law Passed By Narrow Margins In Legislative Houses
The legislation was passed earlier this week by a narrow 36-38 vote in the upper house of the country. The bill had been cleared by the lower house in 2016 by a slim margin of 75-74 .
The new rules will come into force in 2020 after receiving approval from King Willem-Alexander.
Jeantine Reiger, communications manager for the Dutch Transplant Foundation highlighted that nearly 1,100 people are currently awaiting organ donations in the Netherlands.
At a Donor Week event held in October 2016 held shortly after the lower house vote, just 5,414 people registered as donors while 26,430 adults registered as non-donors, the Ministry of Public Health reported.