image by: VideoDonor.com
You’ve seen the question on your driver’s license application. The language varies from state to state, but it boils down to the same thing: Do you want to be an organ donor? Check YES, and you give consent for your body to be harvested for organ upon your death. Check NO or do nothing, and it won’t happen.
But it doesn’t have to be this way—and in several countries, it isn’t. Among those is Spain, which has the world’s highest organ donation rate.
What’s the difference? Presumed consent, meaning that, unless you explicitly opt out by checking the equivalent of the NO box on the pertinent Spanish form, it is presumed that you are willing to donate your organs.
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Donate Life America is a not-for-profit alliance of national organizations and local coalitions across the United States dedicated to inspiring all people to save and enhance lives through organ, eye and tissue donation.
Paired kidney donation is one of the great success stories of artificial intelligence. It doesn’t eliminate jobs or scrub the human touch from medical care. It takes an incredibly complex problem and solves it faster and with fewer errors than humans can, and as a result saves more lives.
There is ample evidence to substantiate the effectiveness of presumed consent policy. Take the case of Spain, the country with the most robust opt-out system, which it established over 40 years ago. In 2019, Spain had 49 deceased organ donors per million population — by far the highest in the world. This compares to Canada’s paltry rate of 20.6 per million population on the same measure.
More and more people are donating organs, but demand still far exceeds supply. What can the world learn from the country that does it best?
Britain took a crucial step on Friday toward making all adults presumed organ donors unless they say otherwise, which would add the country to a growing list of those that have adopted the policy to address a chronic shortage for transplants.
If the potential for living organ donation could be realized, it would save thousands of lives each year in the United States. In one poll, one in four people questioned said that they would be willing to donate a kidney to save the life of a stranger.
No doubt allowing people to sell their organs would increase the supply for those awaiting transplants. But would the societal benefits of such a move be offset by a further widening of the gap between the rich and poor?
Waiting for and Giving the Gift – In this dramatic photo-documentary journey, experience the stories of patients whose hopes rise and fall with each passing day as they wait for organ transplants. Learn how families look beyond their grief in order to give life to others.
Anyone can sign up to the organ donation register. Age isn’t a barrier – people in their 70s and 80s have become donors and saved lives. In the UK, the oldest living person to donate a kidney was 85. Most medical conditions aren’t barriers to donation either.
The impending “opt-out” system for organ donation in England may fail to boost transplant rates and could even lead to a fall in such life-saving operations.
The medical need for organ transplants far outstrips our supply, and the gap is only getting worse. One possible solution may be to grow custom-made organs for people out of their own cells.
It may sound crazy, but it's already happening. Humans are currently walking around with artificial bladders, urethras, windpipes, and vaginas — all grown from their own cells in a laboratory.
The demand for viable organ transplants is not going away any time soon. We are either going to have to find an ethical and honourable way of solving this enormous problem or the day of "Big Al’s Used Organ Lot" may not be so far away.
The FDA is considering lifting restrictions on blood donation based on sexual orientation. If they do, increasing the blood supply will be only the most straightforward benefit.
Paying donors for their organs would finally eliminate the supply-demand gap. In particular, sufficient payment to kidney donors would increase the supply of kidneys by a large percentage, without greatly increasing the total cost of a kidney transplant.
Here's how the screening process that prevents disease transmission in donated organs works.
These new kinds of organ transplants are called vascularized composite allographs or VCAs. While they could be life-enhancing for people with congenital malformations or who lost body parts through trauma or war, there are many unknowns. Thus, as someone who researches ethical issues in organ transplantation, I have been grappling with the ethics of VCAs, which are in need of greater oversight.
Allowing people to sell organs is a fraught issue, but maybe they could be reimbursed for the costs of donation.
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Public Service Announcement about organ donation
Much has been said about the ways we expect our oncoming fleet of driverless cars to change the way we live—remaking us all into passengers, rewiring our economy, retooling our views of ownership, and reshaping our cities and roads. They will also change the way we die.
For the state to presume the authority to harvest my organs (or to allow others to do so) without my explicit consent strikes me as deep violation of my freedom and autonomy. My body and my organs are mine — not mere means to others’ ends.
Spain's system of presumed consent, in which patients would have to opt out of donating their organs after death rather than the current system of having to "opt in" (the latter being prevalent in the U.S. and most of Europe), is seen as one of the major reasons.
About 18 people die every day waiting for organ donations. There are a lot of potential ways to reduce the shortage of organs, but under current law the easiest is probably persuading people to register as donors in case of death. And TV doesn't appear to be helping that cause.
Can economists make the system for organ transplants more humane and efficient?
After striking out with family and facing long waits with registries, kidney and liver patients make an unusually personal appeal to co-workers.
Facebook posts soliciting living donors are going viral—and causing problems for transplant centers.
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It's hard to make a case for the altruism in organ donation when our medical system has historically not been altruistic to us.
Around 21 Americans die each day waiting for transplants. What's behind the reluctance to posthumously save a life?
It takes one minute, it's not scary, and the need is greater than ever.
Die in the USA, and your organs go to waste unless you’ve opted in to the organ donation problem. But it doesn’t have to be this way—and in many countries, it isn’t.
Organ and tissue donation are not popular topics of conversation. It’s hard to discuss or even consider end-of-life care with loved ones, but it’s an important issue that has the potential to save many lives: In 2015 alone, 30,973 organ transplants were reported in the U.S. With an 80-90 percent success rate, that means organ donation saves a lot of lives every year.
Our mission is simple: to save lives by ending the organ transplant wait list.
TRIO is an independent, not-for-profit, international organization committed to improving the quality of life of transplant candidates, recipients, their families and the families of organ and tissue donors.
Since 1987, we have helped more than 30,000 patients receive the bone marrow or cord blood transplants they need. And we help more patients every day: on average, more than 300 patients receive a transplant through us each month.
Gift of Life manages a registry of over 120,000 bone marrow donors and a bank of over 800 umbilical cord blood units. Since 1991, Gift of Life has facilitated transplants for over 1,500 patients in need, over 400 of them from 2002-2007 alone.
LifeBanc is the non-profit organ procurement and tissue recovery agency for Northeast Ohio. As one of the original seven independent organ procurement organizations in the United States, LifeBanc serves a population of 4.3 million people and works with 80 hospitals in 20 counties
It's the commitment to those waiting for lifesaving and life-enhancing organ and tissue transplants that drives LifeGift Organ Donation Center to innovate to save the lives of men, women and children.
The mission of the Secretary of State’s Organ/Tissue Donor Program is to strengthen Illinois’ Organ/Tissue Donor Registry through outreach and registration initiatives.
The program employs regional coordinators who coordinate events and donor registry drives throughout the state. The director of the program oversees all efforts aimed at promoting organ/tissue donation.
Lifesharing Community Organ and Tissue Donation is committed to the life-saving and life-enhancing efforts of transplantation. We strive to be the leader in organ and tissue donation through education, collaboration, and the provision of quality service.
LifeSource manages all aspects of organ and tissue donation, from identifying potential donors to matching organs with needy recipients, coordinating clinical activities, and arranging surgical recovery teams. LifeSource donation coordinators link the stages of the donation and transplantation processes.
Living organ donation has become a common source of organs for those in need of organ transplantation, usually a kidney, bone marrow, and sometimes the portion of a liver. Less common is donation of a portion of a lung or small intestine. There are thousands of living donors in the US and around the world every year.
Each organ and tissue donor saves or improves the lives of as many as 50 people. Giving the "Gift of Life" may lighten the grief of the donor's own family. Many donor families say that knowing other lives have been saved helps them cope with their tragic loss.
We are a nonprofit educational web site serving the world transplant community. Based at the University of Michigan, TransWeb features news and events, real people's experiences, the top 10 myths about donation, a donation quiz, and a large collection of questions and answers
As one of the three arms of NHSBT, ODTs key role is to ensure that organs donated for transplant are matched and allocated to patients in a fair and unbiased way. Matching, particularly in the case of kidneys, is so important that donation and allocation needs to be organised nationally. The larger the pool of organs, the better the likelihood there is of a good match. Unlike some other NHS organisations, ODT do not have a direct relationship with patients and do not provide "hands on" care. However, in providing support to transplantation services across the UK, everything ODT does has an impact on the quality of service delivered to individual patients.
Organ donation takes healthy organs and tissues from one person for transplantation into another. Experts say that the organs from one donor can save or help as many as 50 people.