Donor register includes 6.3 million persons

As of this year, the number of people aged 12 and over who are included in the Dutch organ donor register has increased to over 6.3 million. This is equivalent to 42 percent of the population. In 2014, the number of people registered stood at nearly 5.8 million (40 percent). The number of people who explicitly denied permission for organ donation has increased to 1.9 million, according to the latest figures by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

A new Organ Donation Act will be implemented in summer 2020 which stipulates that, unless stated otherwise, every resident aged 18 or older shall be included in the donor register and presumed to have ‘no objection’. As of 2018, nearly 8.7 million people aged 12 and up (58 percent) have not been registered in the donor register, versus 6.3 million people who are registered.

More than half - 58 percent - of those registered have indicated they wish to be a donor with or without restrictions. Of those registered as donors, 30 percent have given permission for organ donation, while 11 percent leave the decision to their next of kin or to a designated person.

Donor registrations of population aged 12 yrs or older
 General consent (%)Specific consent (%)No consent (%)Relatives decide (%)Designated person decides (%)Not registered (%)

Women make up majority of donors

As of 2018, more women (45 percent) than men (39 percent) are registered in the donor register. Twenty-seven percent of women give permission for organ donation with or without restrictions versus 22 percent of the men.

People with a Moroccan background more often not donors

The four largest groups of people with a non-western migration background show a different composition where decisions on organ donation are concerned. Relatively the lowest number of people giving permission for organ donation is found in the group with a Moroccan migration background. This number has increased from 38 thousand in 2016 to 82 thousand in 2018. In 2016, 26 thousand people with a Turkish migration background were registered as denying consent for organ donation; by 2018, this number had nearly doubled to 54 thousand.

People denying consent for donation by country of origin
 2018 (%)2014 (%)
(former) Netherlands Antilles, Aruba9.26.6

More young people saying no to organ donation

Among young people at the age of 18-19 years, the share objecting to organ donation fell from over 4 to 3 percent between 2014 and 2016. The share rose subsequently: from 4 percent in 2017 to 11 percent in 2018. Among people aged 70 and over, the share denying permission for organ donation declined. In this age group, 19 percent denied permission in 2014 against 18 percent in 2018.

People denying consent for donation by age
 2018 (%)2014 (%)
12 to 17 yrs0.60.1
18 to 19 yrs11.14.2
20 to 29 yrs108.9
30 to 39 yrs13.810.9
40 to 49 yrs12.79.9
50 to 59 yrs13.212
60 to 69 yrs15.512.9
70 to 79 yrs15.916.4
80 yrs or older21.122.3