The following appeared as a letter to the editor of Newsweek:
"I find it appalling that so few Americans sigh up to be organ donors ('Not Just Urban Legend,' Jan. 19, 2009). What we need is an opt-out rather than an opt-in system - you're a potential organ donor unless you note on your driver's license that you don't want to be. Consider this: if there is an afterlife, imagine explaining to whatever supreme being you worship that you let someone else die so that your kidneys could be buried with you."
Zztopdog's note: The following was added as a comment to this post. I heartily agree with the information, and am posting it for those who may be interested.
"About 50% of the organs transplanted in America go to people who haven't agreed to donate their own organs when they die. As long as we let non-donors jump to the front of the waiting list if they need a transplant, we'll always have an organ shortage.
"There is a simple way to put a big dent in the organ shortage -- give organs first to people who have agreed to donate their own organs when they die. Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to register as organ donors. It will also make the organ allocation system fairer. People who aren't willing to share the gift of life should go to the back of the waiting list as long as there is a shortage of organs.
"Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers. LifeSharers is a non-profit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die. Membership is free at www.lifesharers.org or by calling 1-888-ORGAN88. There is no age limit, parents can enroll their minor children, and no one is excluded due to any pre-existing medical condition."