Organdonasjon

Questions and answers about organ donation

Register and concerns

Why don’t we have a register for organ donors in Norway?

Research has found that there is no link between a donor registry and the donor rate. Out of 40,000 people who die in Norway every year, less than 0.5% are suitable donors, this is less than 200 people. If we were to try and ‘find’ a potential donor match in the register then the registration rate (which would include both yes and no replies for donation) would need to be high, preferably at 60-70% of the population. There is no country in the word that has succeeded in obtaining a register with this high percentage. In Norway, everyone is a potential donor at the outset, and the question of donation is asked if organ donation is applicable for the deceased.

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Why don’t we have a no-register in Norway?

An opt-out or no-register would mean that unless opposition to organ donation is registered, organs could be removed from the deceased. This type of register has been tried and tested in the Netherlands and Slovakia. However, a third of the population of the Netherlands protested in opposition to this type of register and it was subsequently closed. The feelings towards establishing this type of registry in Norway are similar to those in the Netherlands, as discussed in media debates. An opt-out or no-register involves ensuring that the whole population of Norway knows exactly what this type of register means for them and organ donation. So as to prevent those who oppose organ donation but would not, in theory, be registered as a ‘no’ to donate. To ensure that this process included everyone would be impossible.

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Do the next-of-kin make the decision about donation?

It is your decision on organ donation that applies, according to the law.

If the deceased expressed a positive stand to organ donation, either orally or in writing, a donation can be carried out. The next-of-kin cannot overrule this.

If the next-of-kin doesn’t know of the deceased feelings to organ donation but they do not oppose it, a donation can be carried out. In the possibility that the deceased was opposed to donation, then donation is not carried out, even though the next-of-kin may support it.

Throughout Europe, even in countries with a register, the next-of-kin will be consulted about donation, even in instances where the deceased had expressed a wish to donate. Therefore it is of great importance that you inform those closest to you about your stand on organ donation!

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Why can’t it be included on a persons driving license if they want to be a donor?

To take a standpoint on organ donation shouldn’t cost anything and that is how we want organ donation to be. Many people in Norway don’t have a driver’s license. Also, and contrary to a drivers license, there is no lower or upper age limit to be a donor. A driver’s license in Norway is issued for a long period of time, which could make it difficult to change your mind about organ donation.

In some states in the USA labeling a driver’s license for organ donation is practiced, however, it has not contributed to an increase in the number of organ donations in the USA. Whilst in Sweden, a ‘transplant law’ is being established that states it is not necessary to label a person’s driver’s license for organ donation.

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Can I choose who I donate my organs to?

A person cannot chose who their organs will be donated to. This decision is made by health professions on a strict medical basis. Every organ that is available is donated to a person that is on the waiting list and to a person that needs it the most. Neither is it possible to refuse to donate to groups or individuals.

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Can I change my mind?

Yes. If you discover that you no longer want to say yes to organ donation, tell those closest to you and dispose of your donor cards or donor card app.

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