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Self-Driving Cars Could Spell Trouble for Organ Donation

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Nissan Autonomous DriveAutonomous cars are becoming a priority around the world, because removing human error from driving will make roadways safer and cut down on fatalities in accidents. However, it has recently been pointed out that this piece of cutting-edge technology might get us where we least expect it—organ donation. According to Slate, we all carry organ donation designation on our driver’s licenses because about one in five organ donations are from car crash victims. That is because many of these donors are completely healthy at their time of death, and so the organs are prime candidates for transplant.

Before we go any further, we at The News Wheel would like to state that we are all for keeping people safe with autonomous cars. The NHTSA’s chairman, Christopher A. Hart, estimates that many of the 32,000 people that die annually on America’s roads could be saved by self-driving cars. We want them to stay alive and happy with their loved ones. We’re just pointing out, with several news outlets, that this is an issue that should be considered as autonomous cars move closer and closer. Even now, about 6,500 people die every year waiting for a transplant, not including the 4,000 that had been removed from the list because they were too ill.

There are many suggestions for what can be done to alleviate this problem, especially for organs that can have a live donor, like the kidneys or liver. Ian Adams of Slate suggested programs like those that exist in Israel, where living donors are incentive to contribute their organs in exchanged for benefits packages that include paid time off of work for recovery and insurance. We have a few years to go before autonomous cars are common on all of our highways, but we hope the government and medical authorities think quickly about what to do to ensure that Americans are both safe on the road and receiving the medical treatment they need.

News Source: Slate