National Organ Donation Shortage: Potential Solutions

Every year more than 7000 American lives are unnecessarily lost as a consequence of an organ donor shortage. The list of those Americans awaiting organ transplants grows each year to record-breaking numbers. This year, 121,000 Americans will find themselves on a transplant waiting list. Many patients, however, are simply too old or too sick to qualify for transplants, leaving them with a short-lived life of intensely managed medical care.

Many citizens are urging Congress to adopt solutions to end the organ shortage. A presented solution is to better educate the population on the benefits of and need for donation. Another solution is to have Congress enact an opt-out system, in which people are initially organ donors and then would have the choice to opt-out of being donors by telling loved ones or carrying a card that explicitly states they do not want to donate their organs (a system that is very popular in many European countries).

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