Best Organ Donation Policy?

 

Week of 2nd February 2020

Organ donation is an ever-green topic that plagues many nations in the world.  The idea of organ donation spans beyond just altruism.  Religion and trust play a role in decision making of a potential donor or next of kin. 

Meanwhile, public understanding of opt-in vs opt-out can be complicated.  Even with an opt-out program, how do you ensure minimal portion of population chooses to opt out, other than inconvenience of doing so. Some countries employ a carrot and stick approach, where priorities are provided to registered donors (or donors who have not opted out). 

Last but not least, just because the donor pool is large, it does not mean the transplant rate is high due to the large proportion of organs not being fit to be used when harvested.  That then ventures into the timing of death, Brain dead vs Cardiac dead.

As this is a complex topic, I have chosen opinions who target the opt-in vs opt-out approach especially from developed nations, and intentionally left out discussion of types of deaths.  In the external links below, I have included a slightly older research piece from WHO which covers also moral issues (I've since researched that Israel has an opt-in not opt-out policy, as stated in this 2014 research piece).  

   

If time is limited, I highly recommend the following three articles:

From the web:

The New York Times

by Richard H. Thaler

Opting In vs Opting Out

The Guardian

by The Editorial Board

An act of love