Two-thirds of people in Denmark would donate their organs, but haven’t necessarily ticked the box that would enable doctors to harvest them
A survey conducted by the Sundhedsstyrelsen health authority reveals that 64 percent of people would donate their organs in the event of their death.
However, despite the generally positive attitude, less than a third have officially registered their wish on the Organ Donor Register.
Among people aged 15-17, who have been able to donate their organs since a law change in 2019, the share is only 3 percent, even though the survey reports that over a half would donate them.
Fortunately, registration is not the only way doctors can get a green light to harvest your organs, as many people carry cards on their person.
But without either of these, permission to harvest organs must be obtained from the next of kin, who is often too emotionally affected to make such a decision.
Awareness of problem is growing
The survey revealed that the level of awareness of organ donation is much higher.
But Sundhedsstyrelsen is adamant that far more people still need to register, or at least discuss the matter with family.
“We want to encourage everyone to talk to their relatives about their organ donation wishes, even if it may be a difficult topic for some people to talk about. You can be an organ donor no matter what your age is,” said Sundhedsstyrelsen section manager Maria Herlev Ahrenfeldt.
“Although many people have taken a stand, the survey shows that we still need more and more extensive information on organ donation so that everyone can make an informed choice. It is currently easy and quick to register your position on the organ donor register at sundhed.dk, and you can change your position at any time.”