Organ donation can be a controversial topic. On the one hand, it is undoubtedly lifesaving and immeasurably important to the more than 100,000 people who are currently waiting for various organs. On the other hand, the whole process can be traumatic to family and friends, and it can be a tough decision to make during a stressful situation.
In America the most common way I’ve seen people become organ donors is when they get a drivers license. Usually, somewhere among all the paper work involved in getting a license, there will be a small section asking “do you want to be an organ donor.” If you check yes, they put a small red heart on you license indicating that you are now an organ donor.
However, in several other countries this process is reversed. Everyone is automatically considered to be an organ donor; but, if you don’t want to be a donor you can easily opt out.
This small difference between an opt-out system and an opt-in system makes a huge difference in the percentage of people that are organ donors. The countries with opt out systems have higher percentages of donors than America does.
So, when there are so many people waiting for a lifesaving organ donation why do we still stick with the opt-out system? Admittedly, the answer isn’t so simple, and there are several arguments in support of both sides. However, this is an interesting point to consider.