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March 23, 1984

Implied Consent for Cadaveric Organ Donation

Author Affiliations

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

JAMA. 1984;251(12):1592. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340360058031

Few issues in medicine have received more attention recently than the need for cadaveric organ donation. In the study by Overcast et al,1 published in this issue, the influence and effect of donor card programs on organ procurement was examined and found to be inconsequential. This negative conclusion is apt to dampen the enthusiasm of legislators in states where active consideration is being given to laws that would permit or even require a statement about potential organ donation on a driver's license. This would be unfortunate since the driver's license programs have had a full trial only in the state of Colorado. There, almost two thirds of all drivers are self-designated as donors compared with other states with one fiftieth to one eighth this number.

In Colorado, the donors' license program was only one component of a long-range effort at public education and legal reform that included a Uniform