Donor organs often needlessly 'lost'

27th January 2012, Comments 0 comments

Many potential donor organs are needlessly 'lost' because it's frequently unknown whether or not a person wished to make their organs available after death. That's the conclusion of a study published on Thursday by Utrecht University on behalf of the Dutch Transplant Foundation.

According to the researchers, more than 50 percent of Dutch people aged 18 years and older have not recorded their wishes in this regard with the national donor register. In these cases, it would be for relatives to decide whether to donate their organs after death.

"Often families choose not to allow organ donation because they don't know the wishes of the deceased," says researcher Loes Smeijers of Utrecht University. "Agreeing to organ donation, when the deceased may not have wanted it, makes them feel uncomfortable."

According to researchers there are currently 1,300 people in the Netherlands on the waiting list for an organ. Some 800 of them are waiting for a kidney.

"It's unfortunate that potentially good organs are often lost because it's not known whether or not the deceased wanted to donate an organ," said Ms Smeijers. "People should be encouraged to make an informed choice."

as/nc/tf

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide


© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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