Dutch government, don’t force us please

As a kid, I remember being terrified of thunder and lightning. My grandparents used to tell me that God was making the loud noises and bright flashes because he was angry. “He beats his rake in the clouds,” they told me. I believed them.

I’m not religious. But I’m not an atheist either because I believe there is a higher power and there might be life after death. That’s why I don’t know if I want to be an organ donor.

© Save Lives Group

It makes me nauseous to think that doctors will cut in my body as soon as I die. I want my loved ones to take their time while saying goodbye to me and I want to lay in my coffin at my best. What if my body isn’t complete anymore, how will my soul be complete?

Besides, I have zero influence on who’s getting my organs after I die. Same for the other way around: if I would get an organ, I don’t know who my donor is either. That idea makes me anxious because it’s out of my control.

This is why I’m also not crazy about the new active donor registration system in the Netherlands. This system will automatically make everyone a donor when they turn 18 in the summer of 2020.

Think about it… Turning 18 and immediately forced into being a donor? Adulthood literally kicks in and there are more important things to think and worry about.

I am 23 and I just came to the conclusion that I have spent more than five years already to make up my mind about becoming a donor because I didn’t want to think about it before. These young adults will not have five years like me to think it through.

Additionally, proponents of the new law believe that people are more urged to make a decision and that this law will bring more donors. On the other hand, opponents think it’s going too far that people will become donors without having explicitly given their permission.

The new law will lead to more donors, but it’s extreme to force people into making their decision.

I think it’s important that young adults who just turn 18 should have the time and right to decide for themselves if they want to become a donor, whenever they are ready for it.

NOTE: This is a political op-ed I wrote for Opinion Writing at San Francisco State University.

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