Thursday, March 31, 2011

Organ Donor Registration in The Netherlands

One of the things on my 101 list is to sign up to be an organ donor. I hadn't done it before here because I wasn't really sure about the process. It's SO simple I feel silly for not doing it sooner! Unfortunately, all of the forms are in Dutch but they're pretty self explanatory.

In The Netherlands there is a national donorregister (donor registry). Anyone registered living in a Dutch municipality over the age of twelve is eligible to register for organ donation.

There are a couple of ways to register to be a donor. The easiest way is to do it online with your DigiD (Digital Identification). If you're unfamiliar with what a DigiD is or need to get one, you can visit their website for more information. The second way is to print out the form (link is a PDF file) and mail it in.

After you fill in your personal details (name, address, birthdate, and sex) there will be 4 options to choose from.

The options on the form are as follows:

Keuze 1: Ja, ik geef toestemming (Option 1: Yes, I give permission)
Keuze 2: Nee, ik geef geen toestemming (Option 2: No I don't give permission)
Keuze 3: Mijn nabestaanden beslissen (Option 3: My next of kin will decide)
Keuze 4: Een specifike persoon beslist (Option 4: A specific person will decide)

If you choose Option 1, you then need to decide which organs and tissues you give permission for transplantation. I had to look some of these up since my Dutch body-part knowledge is still in it's infancy!

alvleesklier - pancreas
darmen - intestines
hoornvliezen - corneas
longen - lungs
bloedvaten -arteries
hart - heart
huid - skin
nieren - kidneys
botweefsel, kraakbeen en pezen - bone tissue, cartilage and tendons
hartkleppen - heart valves
lever - liver

Options 2 & 3 don't require anything else to be filled in.

For Option 4, you do need to fill in the personal details of the person you wish to give permission to make the decisions regarding your organ donation.

Lastly you need to sign and date the form (not neccesarry to do if you use your DigiD to fill in the form online). The address to mail it in is listed at the bottom and you don't even need to buy a stamp!

After you've completed the form (online or mailed in), you'll get a donor card in the mail. Make sure to look at it and check that your information is correct and that's it. It takes 5 minutes (or 7 if you have to look up what a botweefsel is).

Donor Registry Card

I hope this has been a little bit helpful to some of you. I know I just put off doing it forever since I didn't know how to go about it.

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