Do Defaults Save Lives?
Eric J. Johnson and Daniel Goldstein
Since 1995, more than 45,000 people in the United States have died waiting for a suitable donor organ. Although an oft-cited poll (1) showed that 85% of Americans approve of organ donation, less than half had made a decision about donating, and fewer still (28%) had granted permission by signing a donor card, a pattern also observed in Germany, Spain, and Sweden (2–4). Given the shortage of donors, the gap between approval and action is a matter of life and death.