Millions still need to register their organ donation choice

Millions still need to register their organ donation choice

In early 2018, new legislation came into force, which meant that per July 1, 2020, anyone living in the Netherlands older than 18 will automatically become an organ donor if they do not register themselves otherwise.

Registering your organ donation choice

Since the legislation was adopted, around half a million people have registered their organ donation choice. However, more than half of the population (56 percent) still has to register their preferences when it comes to what happens to their organs when they die.

Currently, 6,7 million people in the Netherlands, aged 12 and over, have indicated their choice on the donor register. Of these people, 3,8 million have indicated that they want to donate their organs, more than 750.000 want to leave the decision to their next of kin and over 2,1 million people have decided not to be donors.

According to figures from the Ministry of Health, more women have registered their wishes than men, 45 percent compared to 39 percent. Moreover, women choose to become a donor more often than men. There are also regional differences when it comes to organ donation choices. Those in Brabant choose to donate their organs the most and those in Flevoland the least.

What happens after July 1, 2020?

As of July 1, 2020, the donor law will take effect. Adults aged 18 and above and registered in the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP) will then have to make a decision regarding what happens to their organs when they pass away. If you do not wish to become an organ donor, you will need to state this explicitly.

If you do not respond to the letter you’ll have been sent, asking you to make a choice, you’ll receive a reminder. If you do not make your choice within six weeks of the reminder, you’ll be added to the donor register with the status “ no objection”. You’ll be notified of this. This week (October 21 – 27) is the Week of the Donor Register. During this week, the Ministry of Health will try to raise awareness for the new rules and get people to register their choice.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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