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People Praise Singapore's Controversial Organ Donation Rules

People Praise Singapore's Controversial Organ Donation Rules

"Seems fair..."

A rule on organ donation in Singapore has been highlighted by the online community, but despite being controversial, it’s receiving plenty of praise.

Just like the UK, the citizens of the Southeast Asian country are automatically enrolled as organ donors.

In 1987, to address an organ shortage in Singapore, the Human Organ Transplant Act (HOTA) was passed to allow for the kidneys, liver, heart and corneas to be recovered in the event of death.


Fast forward to 2009 and it was passed that all Singapore citizens and permanent residents aged 21 years old and above who are not mentally disordered are automatically included under HOTA.

While people can opt-out through the country’s Ministry of Health, there’s one particular downside to doing this - you’re less likely to receive an organ transplant should you need it. 

As outlined in the HOTA Information Booklet: “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.”

This particular detail was brought to the attention of the Reddit community when a user shared the government’s HOTA page, writing: “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.”


The rules allow people to opt out of donating specific organs, and they will then be deprioritised on the waiting lists for the specific organs they declined to donate.

Dozens of people have flooded to the comments section to offer up their views on the matter, and while some people think the rule is controversial, a majority agree that it’s only fair. 

Discussing the complex nature of this topic, one person wrote: “As somebody who’s happy for my organs to be harvested (although I’m not sure I’ve opted in because I’m very bad at organising my life), 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’.”

Another simply said: “Seems fair,” a sentiment many people agreed with.

Another commented: “Right. You shouldn't be forced to be a donor, but if you opt out, you shouldn't receive either."

Others praised the government for implementing the rule, with one stating: “I just love it when governments do things that are fair and just and rational,” and another commenting: “I think we should all follow this logic.” 

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Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Health, World News, Reddit