France has now made all its citizens automatic organ donors unless they sign a refusal registry to opt out.
A new law has come into force on January 1st, which “presumes consent” for French citizens’ organs to be removed after they die, unless they sign a refusal registry.
The New Law
France will now be joining European countries such as Austria and Spain who also implement similar laws.
French citizens will have to personally sign up to a refusal register if they would like to opt out of donating their organs.
According to The Guardian, over 150,000 people have already signed up since January 1st. As an alternative, citizens can also leave a signed document with a family member.
They could also verbally communicate their wishes to a family member who would then tell the medical teams upon the citizen’s death.
Why Did They Implement it
The European Union (EU) had led an effort to raise awareness about the lack of organ availability in the market, and how many people who wait for organs for transplant end up waiting a long time.
According to the reports, in 2014, around 86,000 people were waiting for organ donations in EU states, Norway and Turkey. It also pointed out that 16 people die everyday while waiting for a transplant.
France’s new law was created in an effort to dramatically increase the number of people on waiting lists for organ donors.
Other Countries’ on “Presumed Consent”
The UK had rejected the “presumed consent” system in 2008, and instead decided to increase public awareness about organ donation.
In 2015, Wales became the first UK nation to implement presumed consent. However, in other areas in the UK, the more common method to raise awareness is to let a family member know if someone would like to be a donor or not for doctors to take into account.
According to the NHS Blood and Transplant, 6,416 people in the UK alone are currently waiting for a transplant.