Self-Driving Vehicles Are Bad For The Organ Donation Business

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There is a current shortage of available organs. Sick people need organs. Organs save lives. Organs are very useful. One of the greatest resources for organ donations is from those killed in car accidents. Autonomous vehicles will essentially eliminate deaths via car accident. Autonomous vehicles are bad for the organ donation business.

From Slate:

Since the first successful recorded kidney transplant in 1954, organ transplant centers have been facing critical shortages. Roughly 6,500 Americans die waiting for an organ transplant each year, and another 4,000 are removed from the waiting list because they are deemed too sick for a transplant. Since 1999, the waiting list has nearly doubled from 65,313 to more than 123,000. Liver and kidney disease kill more people than breast cancer or prostate cancer, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expects the incidence of these chronic diseases to rise along with the need for more organs.

It’s morbid, but the truth is that due to limitations on who can contribute transplants, among the most reliable sources for healthy organs and tissues are the more than 35,000 people killed each year on American roads (a number that, after years of falling mortality rates, has recently been trending upward). Currently, 1 in 5 organ donations comes from the victim of a vehicular accident. That’s why departments of motor vehicles ask drivers whether they want to be donors.

The topic of autonomous vehicles is one of my favorites. It’s going to change so much in our lives. It will have a multi-industry effect, and it will be enormous. Car insurance. Will we even need it? Will people even own cars, or will our day-to-day transportation will be run solely by services like Uber? Shit’s wild. The economic effect, too. I’m not smart enough to know exactly how the economy will be affected, but I’m smart enough to know it’s going to mess with that shit.

Hey, fewer car accidents, too. That’s huge. Car wrecks are shitty. People die in them. I read an estimate that, once we have fully shifted to autonomous vehicle travel, car accidents will decrease by 99%. Holy shit.

Awesome for us healthies, but it sucks for the sickies out there waiting on organs from donors. Maybe we can find a different way to kill healthy organ donors to substitute for car deaths? Just thinking out loud.

[via Slate]

Image via Shutterstock

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Dillon Cheverere

Dillon Cheverere (@DCheverere) is the Vice President of Media for Grandex, Inc. Email:

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