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'Organ Donor' Now a Required Field on DMV Driver's-License Apps

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Tue, Aug 2, 2011 at 4:15 PM
click to enlarge Decide -- or else.
  • Decide -- or else.

Kind of a freaky new requirement for those conspiracy theorists who think emergency responders are less likely to save them from a fiery car crash if they're a declared organ donor:

NBC LA reports that the California DMV's driver's-license application was revised on July 1 to mandate "motorists to check 'yes' or 'not at this time' when prompted to be an organ donor, rather than just skip the box."

And once you choose "yes," as NBC notes, that designation sticks with you for life --

Unless you go out of your way to contact Donate Life, who's in charge of the organ-donor database. (By the way, now that we're all up on Donate Life's website, did you know yesterday was National Minority Donor Awareness Day? Apparently, 51 percent of organ recipients are minorities, while they only make up 23 of donors. WTF, minorities.)

More weird statistics: Though California is the first state to implement a "soft no" in the organ-donor field, SoCal donor network One Legacy tells NBC that only 30 percent of eligible Californians are registered as organ donors, whereas "mountainous states and those in the Pacific Northwest" often have twice as many. Colorado, for instance, is at 60 percent. One Legacy blames this on a possible "stronger sense of community in those areas."

Again -- WTF. Maybe it's because we've got so many minorities?

"Lots of people ignored [the box] because they didn't feel like they needed to complete the section," Armando Botello, a DMV spokesman, told NBC. Or, as the Californiality blog muses:

Many Californians are so stressed-out by waiting at the DMV to be processed by robotic state workers that they refuse to think about complex afterlife decisions in their exhaustion and frustration.

And the One Legacy guy picks up on the conspiracy: "Some have a degree of doubt as to how the process will unfold, they're afraid that if you have a pink dot on your license, they won't work as hard to save you," he tells NBC.

So if you're spooked by the pink dot, might want to stop filling out your lost-license app with your eyes closed. But please, for the sake of 26,000 California patients waiting on organs: Don't be such a hobbit/minority about it.

[@simone_electra/swilson@laweekly.com]

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