Organ donation questions now part of driving licence application


From tomorrow people who apply online for their driving licences will have to answer questions regarding organ donation before they are able to complete their applications.  This is a joint initiative between the DVLA website and the Organ Donor Register to encourage more people to think seriously about organ donation and to increase the numbers who are registered as organ donors.

Anne Milton, the health minister who is launching the scheme, said that they were trying to simplify the process for people to sign up with the Organ Donor Register, and that by including it in their driving licence application it also encouraged people to discuss their wishes regarding organ donation with their loved ones.

She added that donating organs after death was the ultimate act of selflessness and it was giving someone a gift that would save their life. Although 90% of the UK population has expressed an interest in organ donation, only 29% are actually registered as organ donors.

It was the Governments nudge unit that implemented the scheme with the DVLA, this unit was set up to try and encourage people to change their behaviours in ways that they will hardly notice, and that will have no recourse on legislation. Cabinet Office’s new behaviour insight scheme has been working closely with the Department of Health to draw on their insight into behavioural science to try and improve ‘health outcomes’.

Cabinet Office website contains a document which discusses the idea of prompting choice in relation to subject of organ donation. It states that prompted choice had been highly successful and has succeeded in driving up the numbers of registered organ donors in several states in the US. Since 2008, the state of Illinois has demanded that all applicants for a driving licence make the decision whether to become a registered donor or not.