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New Jersey Law to Require Organ Donor Decision, Education

Ever thought of being an organ donor? Well pretty soon New Jersey drivers will be forced to confront that question — a new law will require drivers to say yes or no to organ donation.

Under the "New Jersey Hero Act" those who say no will have to review information about it, and check a box that says: "I have reviewed the importance of organ donation.” Individuals who can't decide may designate someone else to decide for them (that's a lot of pressure!). Hoping to dispel myths, the law also includes mandatory organ donation education in New Jersey high schools, and colleges will have to provide information at campus health centers.

Currently 24.5 percent (1.75 million) of New Jersey drivers authorize organ donation. To find out how many people need transplants, and how this law could go even further,


Estimates show that 99,000 Americans (3,050 in New Jersey) need organ donations, and 85,000 Americans have died since 1995 while waiting.

Some may think this law, the first of its kind in the US, guilt-trips residents into consenting to organ donation; but, I can imagine a law that goes even further — what if donation was automatic, unless otherwise objected to? One could argue that by requiring the expressed prior consent of the deceased, we condemn others to unnecessary death. Even so, this new New Jersey law that requires some decision seems to blend education, responsibility, and respect for everyone involved.


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vanilla19 vanilla19 8 years
I don't really want to's just that it gives me more comfort about dying, which I'm already afraid of. I just feel like I came to the world whole, I want to return to it whole. And I'm not sure whether I believe in souls/spirits, but I do believe that my body is all I'll ever have, she's my closest friend.
stephley stephley 8 years
You can designate in a will or health care directive exactly what can and can't be done with your organs - you can direct that they may be used for transplant but not for education or scientific purposes.
foxie foxie 8 years
Well it's extremely sad that you feel that way. Hopefully your family never has to go through what you very well may be forcing other families to go through.
frogandprince frogandprince 8 years
Honestly, I've never thought about blood transfusions. I can't donate blood because I've got the trait for sickle cell anemia, so it's never come up. I don't know if I would have problems receiving someone else's blood, since eventually that person's blood will just be recycled away and my body will make it's own blood.
frogandprince frogandprince 8 years
You don't always have an autopsy upon death, and even if I weren't examined by scientists/doctors, I still have less of a philosophical problem with being embalmed than with having a piece of me live on in another person. When I'm dead, I want all of me dead, rather than part of me to live on as someone else. It makes it seem...I don't know, like I was less unique or important, because pieces of me could easily be interchanged with someone else. Like I said, selfish, but that's just what I think.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
I just thought of another question for you, frogandprince: do you have the same feelings about giving blood/receiving a blood transfusion?
foxie foxie 8 years
Let's not forget, also, that you'd be examined upon having an autopsy and being embalmed anyways.
foxie foxie 8 years
If you're a body donor, yes. Other than that, they're examined to the extent that the medical staff needs to examine them in order to have a successful transplant.
frogandprince frogandprince 8 years
Organs can still be studied by scientists and doctors after you've died, can't they?
foxie foxie 8 years
You're thinking of body donation, which is different. Organ donation is donating organs to people who need them. Body donation means donating your entire body to science.
frogandprince frogandprince 8 years
That's assuming that my organs actually go to another person. Like I said, I wouldn't want future doctors in NYU or whereever cutting me up on a slab. Maybe in death I wouldn't mind, but it's when I'm alive that I have to consent to organ donation, and seeing as how the whole thing creeps me out, I can't bring myself to consent.
foxie foxie 8 years
I wonder why, since you'd be dead anyways, you wouldn't at least donate your organs and let someone else make the choice for themselves as to whether or not it's too creepy. It wouldn't make any difference to you once you're dead, you wouldn't be around to have to TRY to wrap your head around it, but it would make literally a world of difference to someone else.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Oh, I see where you're coming from now. Hey, thanks for answering my question so thoughtfully! It's good to hear a different perspective on stuff like this :)
frogandprince frogandprince 8 years
Actually, I didn't mean the intangible qualities. I meant the very real, physical qualities. For instance, if someone built a boat a hundred years ago, and over those hundred years each piece was slowly replaced in order to maintain the boat until every piece had been replaced, would the boat still be the object with all new pieces? Or would it be the discarded pile of old pieces? If my organs are replaced, would they still be mine, or forever belong to the dead person? It's way too creepy of a notion for me to wrap my head around.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
That's a really interesting perspective. From what I understand, you're saying that if, say, you had to have a liver transplant in order to survive, the fact that your new liver came from another person might alter the intangible qualities that make you, you?
frogandprince frogandprince 8 years
Actually, yes, it would. To have someone else's parts inside of me? At which point am I myself or that other person?
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
"It may be selfish but the whole idea of organ transplants creep me out." Frogandprince, if you needed an organ transplant and would die unless you got it, would it still creep you out? Just curious.
frogandprince frogandprince 8 years
I'm not donating my organs so that some medical students in NYU can study me on a slab. It may be selfish but the whole idea of organ transplants creep me out.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
I see your point foxie but I really don't think we need to rely on the anti to pro organ donor converts. There are enough (uninformed) people out there to supply the need for donors and then some who if simply informed would say yes. I know a lot of people who just never think about it but when if it comes up they say sure why not.
True-Song True-Song 8 years
I am super creeped out by organ donation, but I always say yes anyways. I don't want the DMV lady to judge me.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
LOL! Jude your crazy and hey you'll never have to worry about trippin up in a pair of heels honey. Joke ;-)> Cheers!
foxie foxie 8 years
There is NO good reason not to donate your organs. You're denying someone else, someone's child, mother, friend, the chance to have a healthy life. I have a hard time believing that those of you whose religions "don't allow them to donate" really even know what you're talking about. Even Muslims and Mormons are allowed to donate their organs, for crying out loud. I'm not gonna be PC and sugar coat this. You're standing by and watching someone slowly die. It's cruel and stupid.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
I call dibs on your brain, then! You seem to have quite a lot, so I can use part for decorating and the other part for...well...dinner parties ;)
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
I was thinking more interior design but anything domestic and you've stuck gold.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Does it have to be for medical reasons, or can they be culinary, hypno? ;)
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