Should everyone be a potential organ donor?

The Netherlands is to make all adults potential organ donors unless they explicitly opt out of the system. Up to now people have had to register as potential organ donors. With this step the so-called "presumed consent" policy will apply in 18 European states - but not all commentators agree with it.

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Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) /

Presumed consent is the way forward

The Süddeutsche Zeitung welcomes the introduction of the bill and wishes that there were a debate on the presumed consent solution in Germany too:

“Here the opposite has so far been the case: people have to actively register for organ donation before their death. In this respect Germany is gradually becoming a special case in Europe, as most other countries have long since taken the path of 'presumed consent'. A special case with a sad track record, because the number of organ donators in Germany has been declining for years, and last year there were only 9.3 donators per one million inhabitants.”

El Mundo (ES) /

The state should not interfere here

The decision about whether to donate organs should be left to each individual, writes El Mundo:

“The controversial law now adopted by the Netherlands cannot be the solution. From now on all citizens will be potential donors unless they explicitly reject this in written form. This is a matter involving personal issues such as solidarity and beliefs that firmly belongs in the realm of decisions by the individual. To make such a personal decision a matter of state by default is counterproductive.”