On June 1, 2007 the reality television show in which "Lisa", a supposedly dying woman, had to decide one of three contestants to whom she would donate a kidney was a hoax. Nevertheless it drew attention to the problem that in The Netherlands there is a shortage of donors. This is due to the fact that in the Netherlands you have to explicitly declare they can use organs after your death. A lot of people in the Netherlands never fill in the form, relatives usually will not give permission to use any organs because it was never a topic discussed with the deceased.
The dutch government is to hesitant to make a law that will allow organ donation unless you have explicitly denied the use of your organs after death.
Now almost one year later:
- The number of transplanted patients increased with 28% to 1100 patients in 2007
- The number of patients waiting for a transplant organ has decreased in 2007 from 1441 to 1284
- The waiting list for a transplant organ consists mainly of patients waiting for a kidney. The number of patients on the waiting list has decreased with 13% compared to January 2007
In the UK they have a complete different approach to this problem, on BBC News:PM backs automatic organ donation
Gordon Brown says he wants a national debate on whether to change the system of organ donation.
He believes thousands of lives would be saved if everyone was automatically placed on the donor register.
It would mean that, unless people opted out of the register or family members objected, hospitals would be allowed to use their organs for transplants.
Related post on this blog:
Dutch Kidney Reality Show a Hoax