Make organ donation policy “opt-out” to address need


According to Donate Life America, 124,000 people await transplants. This represents Ralph Wilson Stadium filled to 150 percent capacity. Why are there so many people waiting? A significant reason; many state’s “opt-in” policy for organ donation. Opting-in requires citizens to make their wishes known prior to death. Opt-in policies create barriers to helping those 124,000 people, whereas a policy presuming consent with an “opt-out” process, we remove these barriers.

As of January 1, New York state residents can register to donate via the internet, though most are unaware of this change. This change simplifies the process, with states utilizing this registration process reporting more registered donors. Clearly this is not the only answer to raising donation rates.

Those contemplating organ donation should consider discussing this with loved ones, as the average family does not discuss this regularly. However, when polled, most people state their willingness to donate. The topic of death within the United States remains taboo. By changing norms to accepting donation as just part of the dying process, we decrease fear. However, first we must change current policies and raise awareness. Continue reading
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