The essence of the new donor law is that every adult Dutch person is aware of their will about organ and tissue donation. That can be a conscious registration (‘yes’; ‘no’; or letting a family member decide) or the unconscious registration ‘no objection’ – if the person concerned does not register anything.

What does ‘no objection’ mean? What is the value of this supposed ‘no objection’? What if the relatives of the potential donor object to the ‘no objection’? And what does it mean when family members ‘have to demonstrate why they don’t want a donation’? Plenty of questions arise.

Dr. Erwin J.O. Kompanje is a medical philosopher and clinical ethicist in the Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam – intensive care unit for adults. His approach to ethics is practical, accessible and thought provoking.


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