Organ donation by default?

Upon birth should we assume automatic organ donation vs. voluntary donation?

With a shortage of in demand hearts, lungs, livers, and other "dispensable" organs, should we not look for a way to increase the supply in order to balance with the ever increasing demand? My limited knowledge of stem cell research suggests that in the future this question may easily be answered by way of medical engineering and an affluent clientele. But maybe there is another way... Upon birth by default, should we assume automatic organ donation vs. the current voluntary system? If one dies in a car crash or by a natural means their organs would be harvested for use. In such a system the guardian and or individual would have the option of an "exclusionary document" if they so choose not to be involved. Of course not all will be comfortable with this type of policy. Opposing views of death, religion, politics, and many other personal opinions must be thoroughly debated in order to reach a consensus. This would be an enormous sociological challenge, but it could lead to new generations of children being raised to accept this as the norm. Yes it may seem morbid, or morally unacceptable to most, but maybe a new mindset would allow such a radical and potentially beneficial idea to become plausible...

What do you think?


​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Why are so many objects in space shaped like discs?

It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?

  • Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
  • Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
  • Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.

This is the best (and simplest) world map of religions

Both panoramic and detailed, this infographic manages to show both the size and distribution of world religions.

(c) CLO / Carrie Osgood
Strange Maps
  • At a glance, this map shows both the size and distribution of world religions.
  • See how religions mix at both national and regional level.
  • There's one country in the Americas without a Christian majority – which?
Keep reading Show less
Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
Mind & Brain

Do human beings have a magnetic sense? Biologists know other animals do. They think it helps creatures including bees, turtles and birds navigate through the world.

Keep reading Show less