Who does the new law apply to?

Foreigners in the Netherlands and organ donation

The Donor Act does not only apply to people with Dutch nationality. Foreigners (people of other nationalities) are covered by the Donor Act if they are registered with a Dutch municipality. This is already the case and will remain so under the new Donor Act (active donor registration).
Foreigners sometimes only stay in the Netherlands for a short while. They receive a letter 3 years after they start living in the Netherlands asking them to record a choice. Foreigners can also record a choice earlier than that. They do not have to wait to be asked. If no choice has been made and they have not yet received a letter, the partner and family will decide about organ and tissue donation.

Dutch citizens abroad

The new law does not cover Dutch citizens living abroad who are no longer registered with a Dutch municipality. If you come back to live in the Netherlands again and register with a municipality, you will receive a letter asking you to record a choice.

Incapacity to give consent and organ donation

People who are not able to understand properly what donating organs and tissues means are not allowed to enter a choice for themselves. An example of this could be someone with dementia. Their legal representative can enter a choice on behalf of that person from 1 July 2020 onwards.