When it comes to the the question, “Do you want to donate your organs?”, there is a distinct discrepancy between how people answer in theory and in practice.
Vísir reports that, according to a recent opinion poll, between 80% and 90% of Icelanders said they were willing to donate their organs upon their death. However, between 2008 and 2012, 24 Icelanders facing mortality were asked if they wanted to donate their organs. Of those, 16 agreed but eight, or about one-third, refused.
As reported, there is currently a shortage of organ donors in Iceland. Part of this rising demand is due to technological advancements making some patients, who would otherwise be unfit for receiving organs, more viable recipients.
Currently, there is a bill in parliament, with support from all political parties, which would make organ donation the default option – those who do not want their organs donated would have to expressly forbid it beforehand. As it is, the situation is the opposite.
The idea is neither new nor isolated. Progressive MP Siv Friðleifsdóttir first introduced the idea to parliament in 2012, and other Scandinavian countries have similar laws on the books already.