The Dilemma of Organ Donation

Virginia Postrel: today all my policy work is actually on trying to reform organ donation policy. I want to get rid of the waiting list for kidneys. That's my goal. And I'm working with some other people on that. I became a kidney donor about a year ago. And from that experience was because a friend needed a kidney, I became aware that there is this really terrible problem. Terrible shortages. It's not something that can be solved by everybody signing up as a donor on the driver's license, because there actually aren't enough deceased donors. Even if everybody donated, the numbers donors add up because you have to die in the right way. So we need to get more living donors, and I've been thinking a lot about how that might be done. And the thing is it's unlike curing AIDS or making Africa rich, all these things that people try to do. This is really a small, solvable problem that we ought . . . It ought not to be a problem. We have all the tools available, but we do have to change some attitudes and institutions. So that's my policy work now. Whoknows if I will succeed in that? And not just me but some other people who I've worked with. That would be a big deal, at least for the 72,000 people who are waiting for kidneys.


Recorded on: 7/4/2007

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Postrel realized the magnitude of the problem when she donated a kidney to a friend.

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