Download DonateLives for your iPhone

Last year, inspired by Richard Thaler’s column on organ donation, software developer Raymond Cheung designed an iPhone application to make becoming an organ donor in your home state as easy as a few slides and taps of the finger. Better yet, the app was free! Sadly, the New York Times reports on that the app has been downloaded fewer than 1,000 times – “lost in the sea of entertainment, sports and utility offerings that dominate Apple’s App Store…which is a shame for those who are interested in public health issues and those who are inclined to donate.” Indeed.

The article’s writer signed up to be a donor through the app, which raised an interesting dilemma. After confirming his registration, he received a notice that his decision would not affect his existing organ donor information at the DMV. But what if the two were potentially in conflict? For example, he signed up as an organ donor online, but hadn’t signed up at the DMV. Which answer would hospitals follow?

Mr. Fleming, of Donate Life America, said hospitals would follow a person’s latest directions, whether they were registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles or an organ procurement organization.

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  • Andrew

    It appears from the earlier thread that there is essentially no way for a person to easily say “No, I do not wish to be an organ donor.” Therefore, you cannot have two conflicting statuses of “Yes I’ll donate” and “No I won’t.” Unfortunately, this means that if someone chooses to donate under pressure and later changes their mind, there is no space for that to be recorded short of a detailed will and directive, which likely will not be looked at until it is far too late to reverse what has been done.