Each day, 22 people die waiting
for an organ donor.
That number could increase significantly when self-driving cars become
available in the U.S.
Research from the government and the automotive industry finds autonomous
vehicles can prevent accidents and fatalities. Google says that
94 percent of car accidents
in the U.S. are due, at least in part,
to human error.
The scenario has health care professionals exploring new ways to promote
organ donations. Much harvesting of organs and tissues results from fatal
MSN.com calls it
“an unintended consequence”
and notes a new report from Slate:
About 6,500 Americans die every year waiting for a transplant, and the
waiting list for organs has nearly doubled in the past 18 years, from about
65,000 to more than 123,000.
We don't have enough donated organs to take care of the patients who need
transplants as it is, and one in five organs used in transplants come from
vehicular accidents. When the number of automotive-related deaths plummets
from self-driving cars, one of the most reliable sources of healthy human
organs and tissues will plummet as well.
Continuing, the post says:
Obviously preventing automotive deaths is a good thing, but legislatures
need to start thinking about ways to increase the nation's supply of
suggests, lawmakers could re-legalize organ sales, which were banned in
1984. A legal donation-for-compensation system could be setup for organs
such as livers and kidneys, the most commonly needed organs by hospitals,
similar to the payments that people receive for donating blood plasma, bone
marrow, sperm or eggs.
Would hospitals and health care advocates support the sale of human organs?
What kinds of marketing and PR campaigns could be developed around this
[Keep your cool in a crisis with these 13 tips.]
MSN.com also said:
It's morbid, but it's a reality of life. Dead but otherwise healthy people
are perfect organ donors. As the number of people seeking a transplant
rises, self-driving cars are going to save the patients' otherwise-donors
from an accident.
Can young drivers help?
New York has the lowest percentage of registered organ donors in the
nation. However, that may change with the passage of a new law affecting
The Young Adult Enrollment Legislation will allow 16- and 17-year-olds to
sign up to make organ donations upon their death. Currently, registered
donors must be at least 18. Under the new law, parents and legal guardians
would still have the right to refuse organ donations for minors. Still,
advocates believe many parents would be inclined to follow the wishes of
After individuals turn 18, their status on the Donate Life Registry
provides them the legal right to authorize the action.
Sarah Dina, director of marketing and development at Upstate New York
Transplant Services, said she’s hopeful the law will have boost donations.
“Every year, there are thousands of 16- and 17-year-olds that go to the
[Department of Motor Vehicles], and now they will be able to give their
intent to donate,” she said. “The potential impact on the registry is
Supporters of the legislation signed this summer by Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo
note that other states allow minors to declare their intent to become organ
Registering to become an organ donor is a simple process that can be
completed when people receive or renew their driver’s licenses, advocates