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The potential of legislation on organ donation to increase the supply of donor organs


  • Coppen, Remco
  • Friele, Roland D.
  • van der Zee, Jouke
  • Gevers, Sjef K.


Objectives The aim of this paper is to assess the possibilities to adapt the 1998 Dutch Organ Donation Act, taking account of fundamental principles such as the right to physical integrity, equitable access to and equal availability of care, and the non-commerciality principle, with a view to increasing the organ supply.Methods In 2008 the Dutch Taskforce on Organ Donation presented several proposals to amend the Act and to increase the supply of organs. This paper describes the proposals to amend the Act and evaluates them by assessing their intrinsic adherence to basic principles and the available evidence that these proposals will indeed increase the organ supply.Results Several proposals could constitute an infringement of fundamental principles of the Act. Moreover, evidence for their impact on the organ supply is lacking. Changing the consent system is possible, as this would not incur legal objections. There are diverging views regarding the impact of consent systems on the organ supply.Conclusions The scope for changing the Act and its impact on organ procurement is at best limited. Relying on legislation alone will possibly not bring much relief, whereas additional policy measures may be more successful.

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  • Coppen, Remco & Friele, Roland D. & van der Zee, Jouke & Gevers, Sjef K., 2010. "The potential of legislation on organ donation to increase the supply of donor organs," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 98(2-3), pages 164-170, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:hepoli:v:98:y:2010:i:2-3:p:164-170

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Abadie, Alberto & Gay, Sebastien, 2006. "The impact of presumed consent legislation on cadaveric organ donation: A cross-country study," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 599-620, July.
    2. Schweda, Mark & Schicktanz, Silke, 2009. "Public ideas and values concerning the commercialization of organ donation in four European countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(6), pages 1129-1136, March.
    3. de Charro, Frank Th. & Akveld, Hans E. M. & Hessing, Dick J., 1993. "Systems of donor transfer," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 199-212, October.
    4. Defever, Mia, 1990. "The policies of organ transplantation in Europe: issues and problems," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 95-103, November.
    5. Kokkedee, William, 1992. "Kidney procurement policies in the eurotransplant region : 'Opting in' versus 'opting out'," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 177-182, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Machin, Laura L. & Brown, Nik & McLeod, Danae, 2012. "Giving to receive? The right to donate in umbilical cord blood banking for stem cell therapies," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 104(3), pages 296-303.


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