Icelandic firemen and paramedics intend to give the parliamentary president a petition supporting a proposal to change Iceland’s organ donor laws.
Currently, Icelanders need to make an official request to have their organs donated in the event of their death. However, earlier this year 18 members of parliament – led by Progressive MP Siv Friðleifsdóttir – introduced to parliament a proposal that would make all Icelanders automatic organ donors, unless they specify otherwise before their deaths.
As has been pointed out, the idea is not without precedent. 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.
“We want to coax an increase in organ donations in Iceland,” Siv told reporters at the time. “There is a long waiting list for vital organs. We could save many lives if there were more available.”
RÚV now reports that Iceland’s firemen and paramedics also support the proposal, and intend to submit a petition to the president of parliament supporting it.
A statement from the firemen and paramedics said that such a proposal would quicken the decision process when it comes to saving a life, increase the number of organ donations and, in so doing, decrease the waiting list for those in need or organs. They emphasise that such a proposal, if passed, would benefit the whole country.