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French citizens now automatic organ donors under new law

by: Shelby Lin Erdman, Cox Media Group National Content Desk Updated:

A new French law makes everyone an organ donor automatically. The law took effect on Jan. 1.
Graham Chadwick/Getty Images

All French citizens are now automatic organ donors, unless they officially opt out of the program.

A new law that went into effect on Jan. 1 makes everyone an organ and tissue donor. People can opt out of the program, but they must enroll in something called the National Rejection Register in order to do so.

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A low number of organ donations prompted the new rule, according to news reports.

France’s biomedicine agency said in a statement on its website that “in the name of national solidarity, the principle of presumed consent was chosen,” The World Post reported.

“The law says that we are all donors of organs and tissues, unless we have expressed our refusal,” the agency added.

In the United States, people can register for organ donation when they renew their driver’s license or online at organdonor.gov.