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Singapore Has A Rule That Everyone Over The Age Of 21 Automatically Becomes An Organ Donor

Singapore Has A Rule That Everyone Over The Age Of 21 Automatically Becomes An Organ Donor

If Singaporeans wish to opt out of the system, then they will be at the bottom of the list if they need an organ.

Jayden Collins

Jayden Collins

There's a rule in Singapore that ensures all citizens over the age of 21 are automatically enrolled as organ donors, and it's getting a heap of praise online.

The southeast Asian country went through an organ shortage back in 1987, and, as a result, the Human Organ Transplant Act (HOTA) was passed in 2009.

The rule sees all residents aged 21 or above, who are not mentally disordered, automatically included under HOTA, in what the official HOTA website says is, 'one of the most remarkable successes in the history of medicine'.

In the HOTA Information Booklet, the rule states: "Those who are under HOTA will not only have the chance to help others but will also have higher priority on the waiting lists should they need an organ transplant. This will be critical when the need arises."

An eye for an eye, so to speak.

People can opt out through the country's Ministry of Health, however, there is one downside - you are less likely to receive an organ transplant should you need it.

This detail was brought to attention in a Reddit thread about the rule when one user wrote: "Everyone in Singapore above the age of 21 is automatically registered as an organ donor. Opting out from this Act will result in you being put at the very bottom of the organ priority list, should you need an organ transplantation."

There is a similar stance in the United States, where if you were to opt-in as an organ donator you are more likely to receive an organ transplant should you need it.

Currently, Australia has an 'opt-in' model where a person over the age of 18 with decision-making capacity may choose whether they wish to donate their organs or tissues.

Over in the United Kingdom, the brits moved to an 'opt-out' system similar to that of Singapore in May 2020.

Overall the rule, that has recently come to light on Reddit, received a high level of approval from users in the comment sections.

EnVogue_Photo / Alamy

One stated: "I just love it when governments do things that are fair and just and rational."

Another said: "This seems like a simple, useful public policy. It sounds straightforward and fair."

However, one user did play devil's advocate, pointing out the emotional attachment involved with death.

They said: "I think it's always a complicated issue. From a logical point of view of course if the organs are no longer needed then use them elsewhere."

"But deaths are often filled with emotion and not logic. Sometimes people haven't come to terms with the death and before you know it 'we're taking your daughter's heart and liver out now for someone else to use'."

Featured Image Credit: agefotostock/Alamy. Stephen Barnes/Medical/Alamy

Topics: Singapore, News, Interesting