Register your Choice to Be an Organ Donor or Not before 1 July 2020
On 1 July 2020, a new Donor Act, which also holds implications for international students, will come into effect. The new law will make everyone in the Netherlands aged 18 and above who is registered with their local municipality (gemeente) an organ donor unless otherwise indicated. It will also apply to foreign nationals, including international students, the Dutch department of Health has confirmed to Wittenborg News.
Currently, organ donation can only take place with explicit consent from the donor or their surviving relatives. This will be replaced by a system of active donor registration. This means that when the new Act comes into force in summer 2020, everyone in the Netherlands aged 18 or older will be registered in the Donor Register.
If you don't want to donate your organs or tissue, you can register your choice by logging in via DigiD or filling in a form online. It only takes two minutes to fill out. Another option is to ask your municipality for a paper form, fill it out and send it by mail.
If you don't make a choice by 1 July 2020 you will receive a reminder by letter. If after 6 weeks you still have not made a choice you will receive another letter. If, again, you fail to register your choice, it will be recorded under your name: "No objections to organ donation".
What does that mean? In the event of your death, your family will then hear that you have no objection to donating organs and tissues. This means that your organs could be given to a patient after your death. The only way that it will be impossible for this to happen is if your family knows for certain that you did not want to be a donor and can prove it.
More information on the new Donor Act can be found here.
by James Wittenborg
©Wittenborg University Press