Tag Archives: ethics

Opt-in or Opt-out?

The graph below shows the percentage of people in a country who are organ donors. Can you guess which countries operate opt-in policies for organ donation and which operate opt-out policies?

In case it wasn’t obvious enough already, the graph below colours countries with an opt-in policy red and countries with an opt-out policy green.

The problem is that people are lazy; they’ll take the easiest option. If you force people to make an effort to become organ donors, most simply won’t bother.

In my opinion the UK’s system needs to be changed to one of presumed consent; a system in which it is assumed that everyone wishes to be an organ donor. This would greatly increase the number of organ donors and reduce the number of people who needlessly die because they never receive the transplant organ they need.

Source: Johnson, Eric J. and Daniel Goldstein. 2003. “Do Defaults Save Lives?” Science 302: 1338-1339. doi: dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1091721