MPs reject automatic organ donation
8 March 2005, AMSTERDAM — A majority of Dutch MPs are opposed to an automatic organ donor system, meaning that the present voluntary system will remain in place.
8 March 2005
AMSTERDAM — A majority of Dutch MPs are opposed to an automatic organ donor system, meaning that the present voluntary system will remain in place.
An automatic donor system was designed to increase the number of potential donors. If opposed to donating their organs, Dutch nationals would have been required to sign a document stating their opposition to having organs removed after death.
The Labour PvdA, the Socialist SP, populist LPF, green-left GroenLinks and Democrat D66 parties had previously indicated they were in favour of implementing an automatic donor system, newspaper De Telegraaf reported.
But a group of dissident MPs threatened to block the legislation, and during a parliamentary debate on Tuesday it became clear that the proposal would not gain majority support.
Several Labour MPs indicated they would vote against the legislative proposal, as did an LPF MP and a Socialist MP was absent due to illness. The proponents of the bill thus failed to gain the necessary majority in the 150-seat Lower House of Parliament.
Labour MP Frans Timmermans said prior to the debate that legislation placing someone's organs at the disposal of the government without explicit permission was "going too far". Colleague Peter van Heemst said "obligation" should not be involved in such a "drastic" matter.
Under the present donor system, someone must give express permission for medical authorities to use his or her organs upon death. About 2.5 million Dutch nationals are registered donors, leading to 220 organ donations per year. But about 200 people die each year because there are not enough organ donors.
The shortage of donor organs thus led to calls for an automatic donor system, but opponents of the bill said the present system should be improved.
Government coalition parties Christian Democrat CDA and Liberal VVD — along with Health Minister Hans Hoogervorst — led calls to maintain and improve the present voluntary system, newspaper De Volkskrant reported.
They were backed up on Tuesday by MPs such as Dijsselbloem, who said he receives a letter from the Kidney and Heart Foundation every six months requesting a monetary donation. "Why don't they send me a request for [donor] registration," he said.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news