Alma Möller, Iceland’s Director of Health, is urging for there to be a broad public conversation about upcoming changes to Iceland’s existing organ donation law, RÚV reports. As of the start of the new year, all Icelanders will automatically be designated as organ donors unless they specifically opt out.
Organ donations began being made in Iceland in 1993 and since then, about 100 people have donated organs, benefiting 350 people. Currently, you must specially register to become an organ donor in Iceland, but this will change in 2019. Alma says that it’s very important that more people become open to the idea of donating their organs after their death, but also that those who wish to opt out of this have all the information they need to be able to do so.
Meetings will be held with healthcare professionals will be held throughout Iceland in the coming weeks so that they will be better able to address patient questions and concerns about the new law. The meetings will also be open to the general public.
The need for organs in Iceland is increasing and the current rate of donation is likely not enough to sustain patients in need. There are an average of 25 – 30 people in need of organ donation in Iceland each year.