From Iceland — Bill Would Change Organ Donor Laws

Bill Would Change Organ Donor Laws

Published January 31, 2012

A bill being introduced to parliament would make all Icelanders automatic organ donors, unless they specify otherwise before their deaths.
18 members of parliament from all parties, led by Progressive Siv Friðleifsdóttir, are standing behind the bill, Vísir reports. As it stands now, the law assumes that people do not want to donate their organs, unless they say differently ahead of time.
“We want to coax an increase in organ donations in Iceland,” Siv told reporters. “There is a long waiting list for vital organs. We could save many lives if there were more available.”
The bill is far from revolutionary. Other Scandinavian countries have similar laws on the books already. Studies conducted in Iceland showed that when asked, people about to die were only willing to donate their organs 60% of the time. Siv believes that the law would ease the process, by removing one of many difficult decisions that the dying and their loved ones have to face.
Siv also believes that the discussion of organ donation has to increase as well, so that both education and the law itself, should it pass, will make the decision easier for everyone, while saving more lives at the same time.

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