New Dutch law means you will automatically become an organ donor

New Dutch law means you will automatically become an organ donor

The new law, making you automatically an organ donor unless you object, was passed by the Dutch House of Representatives in September 2016. Now, the Dutch Senate has also passed the law and it will come into effect in the summer of 2020.

Active Donor Registration in the Netherlands

The new Dutch organ donor law was drawn up by Pia Dijkstra from the Dutch political party D66. When it is implemented, every Dutch citizen registered in the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP) will automatically become an organ donor if they do not indicate otherwise.

Those 18 years old and above, who have not indicated their preferences regarding organ donation, and are therefore not on the organ donation register, will be sent a letter when the new law comes to pass. In reply to this letter, you can choose one of four options when it comes to organ donation. These are: yes, no, your partner will choose in the event of your death or another appointed person will be given the choice.

If you do not reply to this letter, another will be sent in six weeks. If, again, you do not respond, you will be automatically registered as having no objection to organ donation. Those who have already declared their preferences will not have to take any action.

Organ donor decisions

The new law brings the decision concerning organ donation to the foreground. Soon, there will be a consequence to avoiding choosing whether you want to donate your organs or not. Of course, you can change the decision you have made. Many municipalities and Dutch hospitals will allow you to do this via a paper form, or you can change your preferences online. You will automatically donate all of your organs, unless you specify otherwise.

When the law comes into force, the role of the next of kin will change, as they will no longer have to make a decision regarding the deceased's organs, unless they have been appointed to do so. Should they feel that the deceased’s non-objection or choice to donate their organs was not at all what they wanted, they can still fight the organ donation.

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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