The government of Denmark is planning to change the law so that all citizens of legal age will automatically become organ donors, unless they declare separately that they do not want their organs to be used after their death. Currently, only those who have registered as organ donors are on the list, but the proposed change would bring Denmark in line with Finland and other European countries.
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has stated that the purpose of the change is to make more organs available for organ transplants, as more than 400 Danes are currently on the waiting list for organ transplants. The government aims to avoid deaths of people on the waiting list by increasing the number of organ donors.
The government emphasizes that people would still have the option to opt out of being an organ donor, and relatives of the deceased could also decide that their organs may not be used. However, this plan is likely to face opposition, as the Danish Ethics Council has recommended against changing the current policy regarding organ donation.
Experts and the Ethics Council have pointed out that there are no clear differences between countries in the number of organ donations, regardless of whether people are automatically organ donors or not. However, the government does not want to force its proposal through and aims to initiate a broad discussion on the matter.
Last year, 113 Danes donated their organs after death, and the government’s proposal aims to increase this number.