Majority of Danes undecided on donating their organs

Lucie Rychla
September 13th, 2016

This article is more than 7 years old.

Meanwhile, over 400 people are waiting for a transplant

Some 3.6 million Danes have not taken a clear position on donating their organs following their death, reports the Danish health authority Sundhedsstyrelsen.

Meanwhile, over 400 people are waiting for a transplant that would prolong their life.

Last year, 27 people on that list died, even though every year about 150-200 Danes die in a way that their organs could be used to save the lives of others.

Although 85 percent of Danes say they want to donate their organs after death, only a few actually sign up as organ donors.

READ MORE: Denmark lagging behind in organ donation

Most give full permission
Meanwhile, only 30 percent are in favour of changing the current system to ‘presumed consent‘, which means that after death their organs would be automatically donated.

This approach has already been introduced in Sweden, Norway and Finland, but Denmark has not been able to find the necessary political majority to pass the reform.

Dr Finn Gustafsson, who supports the ‘presumed consent system, argues that if people do not take a clear position on organ donation when they are still alive, it is then up to their relatives to make a difficult decision in the middle of what is often a crisis.

Of the 942,000 people who have registered their position on donating their organs, 80 percent have given their full permission,  16 percent have given partial permission, and only 6 percent have refused to donate their organs after death.


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