In today’s New York Times, Pauline Chen, a liver transplant surgeon, writes about checking the “yes” box on her renewed driver’s license, committing herself to organ donation should she get into a tragic accident. Even this experienced physician said the question took her off guard for a split second. One minute she was going through the mundane process of paperwork, the next minute contemplating her own death.
Everyone knows that our country suffers from a dearth of organs for those who desperately need them, particularly organs from minorities. Years ago, I wrote about the savvy promotional schemes to get more people to think about organ donation and to check the “yes” box. And yet, what happens in committee meetings that discuss clever marketing strategies is often very different from what happens in the real world.
Chen points to a study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. It found that when people were asked to watch a five-minute video on their iPhones about organ donation before entering the D.M.V., donations increased compared to those who were not offered the video.