Dutch and Belgium Organ Donation Acts Essay

This essay has a total of 779 words and 4 pages.

Dutch and Belgium Organ Donation Acts

Assignment III-B: Dutch and Belgium Organ Donation Acts.

In Belgium there is a different post mortem organ donation law than in The Netherlands,
although they both have the same main purpose: they seek to increase the supply of donors.


In Belgium it is presumed that each citizen has consented to the harvest of organs
following death unless an objection to such a harvest was recorded, an opt-out system.
Belgium combines presumed consent with a practice of inquiring into the wishes of the next
of kin. One advantage of presumed consent is that there is no need to refer to drivers'
licenses or donor cards, which may not be carried at the relevant time. Another is that
distraught family members do not need to make a positive decision to approve harvest. The
patient has been able to record their objection, if any, during their lifetime, so the
decision to do so will have rested with them and doctors are spared the difficult task of
asking for consent. The decision whether or not to object was that of the patient made in
a reasoned manner and cannot be overturned by family (1).


In The Netherlands each citizen is given the opportunity to indicate whether or not they
are willing to donate their organs in the event of their death, or whether they would
prefer to leave the decision to their relatives, a full decision system. General consent
may be given for the removal of organs and tissues, or one may withhold consent in
relation to certain parts of the body. The Organ Donation Act provides for the creation of
a register of donor information, in which details of individuals' wishes regarding organ
donation are recorded. Under no circumstances can organs or tissues be removed if the
deceased has indicated that he or she does not want this (1).


In my opinion, the Belgium presumed consent system would be more effective in terms of the
aim of the law. It is possible that only the more advantaged or educated groups in Belgium
society would be aware of their right to opt-out and the less advantaged would take no
steps, more through ignorance than through a willingness to donate. Although this seems
immoral, it will increase the supply of donors. The Dutch full decision system can be very
effective, if every citizen would actually send in the form. In an ideal world every Dutch
citizen would respond, stating their consent or not, and every Belgium citizen would
respond if they would not consent. In an ideal world it would not matter which system a
country would use, both systems would increase the supply of donors.


Since we do not live in an ideal world, we have to make a choice. Either an immoral more
effective system, or a moral less effective system. The Dutch system is to be preferred
from a moral point of view; People -who do not want to donate organs and through ignorance
do not know they have to send in a form if they do or do not want to donate organs- will
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