Denmark lagging behind in organ donation

Not enough focus on leaving a little something behind, says researcher

Every year there are 14 organ donations per every million people living in Denmark, according to the latest figures. In Spain, that number is more than double – at 31 donations per million.

Mortality tough to face
In 2013, a goal was established for 1 million Danes to be registered on the organ donor registry, Donorregistret. As of this year, there are a little over 900,000 registered.

“Making the decision to decide which organs you want to donate forces you to recognise that you will die,” Helle Haubro Andersen from the Danish Centre for Organ Donation told Berlingske.

“Danes are very positive about organ donation, but neglect to sign up because they don’t think about the fact that they could die suddenly.”

READ MORE: New rules would widen scope of organ donation

Few patients are placed on life-support in Denmark, and the relatives of deathbed patients often say ‘no’ when asked if they wish to donate the organs of their loved ones, especially if the person has not made previous arrangements.

More focus needed
Anthropologist Anja Marie Bornø Jensen from the University of Copenhagen University said that other European countries are more focused on organ donation, noting that Norway and Spain have focused on and invested in organ donation programs for several years.

“I firmly believe that the lack of focus on the subject discourages Danes from considering organ donation,” Jensen told Berlingske.