Presumed Consent at the DMV
by: Bianca Reeder
All over the world, the number of people in need of organs largely outnumbers the number of organs being donated. Waubonsie Valley’s Meher Sethi, Vinay Pai, Karthik Srinivasan, and Henry Hong are proposing a possible solution to this problem. Their bill is looking to restructure the setup of the organ donor registry. This bill group is aiming to change the Illinois organ donor registry to an opt-out system opposed to the opt-in system, which we currently have.
The current system starts with you not being an organ donor. At the DMV when you get your driver’s license you can decide if you want to be an organ donor, therefore choosing to opt-in. The Waubonsie bill proposes to change this system, by presuming organ donor consent at the time a driver receives or renews their license. The driver must choose to be removed from the registry. While the driver will not be able to opt-out at the DMV, they will be able to opt-out online.
It is well known that the need for viable organs is greater than the number of available organs. According to Srinivasan, “In Illinois, the number [of people on the organ donor registry] is pretty low compared to other places who have an opt-out system.” In opt-in countries like the United States, less than 15 percent of people donate their organs at death. However in opt-out countries, more than 90% of people donate their organs.