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    ‘Yes Unless’: Dutch Lawmakers Approve Automatic Organ Donor Registry

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    Dutch parliament members have passed a draft bill that would automatically make every resident an organ donor unless they choose to opt out.

    The motion very narrowly passed on Tuesday, with 75 MPs voting in favor and 74 against. The author of the bill, D66 parliamentarian Pia Dijkstra, became visibly emotional when the motion was approved.

    The draft bill will now have to make it through the upper house of parliament, where it is less likely to pass. Parties who back the measure, including Labour, D66, the Socialists, Groenlinks, VVD MPs, and 50plus, need 38 votes for a majority and can currently only count on 33, Dutch News reports.

    Dijkstra hopes that by requiring people to opt out of donating their organs, more organs will be available to those who need them.

    “This is great news for everyone on the waiting list,” Dijkstra said after her bill passed the first round. “Every year, 150 people die who could have been alive with a donor organ.”

    Last November, Wales switched to an opt-out system and it is expected to boost the number of organs available for lifesaving transplants by 25 percent.

    Under the Welsh policy, anyone over the age of 18 who has lived in the nation for more than 12 months and dies in the country is considered to have consented to be an organ donor unless they previously opted out.

    “The change to a soft opt-out system for organ donation will deliver a revolution in consent. Organ donation saves lives; increasing the rate of organ donation allows us to save more lives,” Mark Drakeford, Wales health and social services minister, told the Guardian following the program’s passing.

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    Tags:
    Organ Donation, Dutch Parliament, D66, Pia Dijkstra, Netherlands, Wales
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