The government of Denmark is currently considering a change in its organ donor policy. Currently, only those who have registered for organ donation are included on the list of donors. If the new law goes through, all citizens of legal age will be automatically added to the list of organ donors, with the option to opt-out if they do not wish their organs to be used after their death.
The purpose of this change is to increase the availability of organs for transplants, as there are currently over 400 Danes on the waiting list for a new organ. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has emphasized that people would always have the choice to remove themselves from the list and that family members could also decide whether or not their organs could be used.
However, there has been opposition to this plan from the Danish Ethics Council, which has advised against changing current policy regarding organ donation. They argue that individuals’ right to choose what happens to their own body is an important principle in healthcare, and that there are no significant differences in the number of organ donations between countries with automatic or voluntary registration systems.
Despite this opposition, however, the Danish government does not intend to force its proposal through. Instead, it hopes to spark a wider discussion on the matter. In 2020 alone, 113 Danes donated their organs after death, with about two-thirds indicating whether they wanted their organs used or not beforehand. The government believes that by making everyone a potential donor by default and encouraging people to make informed decisions about their own bodies, it can help save more lives through organ transplants.