Politics & Media
Apr 30, 2008, 12:38PM

A Donation Worth Making

Thousands of Americans are waiting for organs. Every day some of them die. Some buy black market organs from third world countries. Not enough of them get medically necessary organs from donors. As this writer explains, a change in U.S. law could help.

"As it stands, an individual must consent during his or her lifetime to be an organ donor. In Michigan, one can become a donor by filling out the Michigan Organ Donor Registry form online. Once the form is processed, you'll receive a small heart-shaped sticker to put on the front of your driver's license. While this process isn't overly complicated, it still requires some effort and knowledge of the process on the part of the person wishing to become a donor. But a person desperately in need of a heart transplant shouldn't have to count on someone else's motivation or awareness to be offered a second chance at life.

The United States's current consent-based method of organ donation must be overhauled. One alternate option that has seen success in other countries is the presumed-consent-with-opt-out system. In this system, every individual is automatically placed on the donor registry. Only by specifically requesting to be removed from the registry or through family objection if no request is specified could a hospital be prevented from harvesting an individual's organs for transplantation. This change would ensure that many more individuals would receive the transplant they need.



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