Organ donation: Denmark discusses opt-out system

Based on a citizen's proposal, the Danish Health Minister Sophie Løhde has proposed introducing an opt-out system for organ donation in Denmark. According to the plan, everyone over 18 would automatically become an organ donor unless they actively opt out of donation. Currently the country has an opt-in system in which potential donors must have given their consent while they were alive, or relatives make the decision in the event of their death. Commentators are sceptical.

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Kristeligt Dagblad (DK) /

Make time for difficult conversations

A different approach is needed to the problem of too few donors, argues Kristeligt Dagblad:

“Instead of making everyone a donor by changing the law, politicians should look at the obstacles that exist in hospitals, where hectic schedules and the lack of space in intensive care units often make the necessary difficult conversations with relatives impossible. These conversations are absolutely central to organ donation, whether or not consent is given.”

Jyllands-Posten (DK) /

Humans are not spare parts depots

Jyllands-Posten is also against the proposal:

“This is essentially about how we see ourselves as humans because at the heart of it the question of organ donation is about who owns the body and its organs - the individual or the state. The answer to this question must never be the state. Human beings are not born to become spare parts depots for others, and it can never be the community that decides what should happen to the organs of the individual after death.”