April 30, 2018 – Opt Out


Anchor lead: Should organ donation be compulsory? Elizabeth Tracey reports

As Organ Donation Month ends, one persistent question is should everyone be considered an organ donor unless they opt out, as is true in some countries around the world. Clint Burns, a nurse and transplant coordinator at Johns Hopkins, describes what’s known.

Burns: Singapore and Austria are hard opt out systems, and those were the only two countries that saw a consistent and significant increase of 25% in organ donors. But the other countries saw no consistent or significant increase in donors.  :17

Burns comments on why.

Burns: I think people are still deferring to the family, when it comes down to it. So it’s really three decisions: you opt in, you opt out, or you opted out but we still defer to the family. In the United States at least I think the perception would have more of a negative impact on donation than the potential of increasing donors. :20

Burns urges everyone to opt in to organ donation in the US. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.