Euthanasia should lead to organ donation: Health Minister

Minister Edith Schippers of Public Health is working on a protocol to guide people who want to donate organs after their euthanasia.

This means, for example, that they will not be able to die at home, but will have to die in the hospital. The doctor should also perform the euthanasia in the hospital. The guidelines established for this is a practical implementation of laws, said Schippers. The first version of the guidelines was written by the Rotterdam Erasmus MC and the University Hospital of Maastricht (MUMC).

The VVD hopes that the new protocol for organ donation after euthanasia will lead to more donor organs. "If only a few dozen of the 4,800 people who annually commit euthanasia donate organs, it will already be a profit in the eyes of the VVD", said VVD Parliament Member Ockje Tellegen on Tuesday. Tellegen wanted to let Minister Schippers to know what they think of the "beautiful initiative" to make arrangements between hospitals and doctors on organ donation after euthanasia.

Schippers emphasized that the protocol must not become a "hunt for organs" and as such is not intended to increase the number of donor organs.

In the Netherlands only six people have made it clear that they want to donate organs before their euthanasia.