Saving lives with transplanted organs is one of the most remarkable and inspiring innovations of modern medicine. A donated heart, kidney or liver can turn the tragedy of an auto accident into an opportunity for those in need. 6,500 Americans die every year — an average of 18 a day — because they can't get a transplant in time. Only about half of Americans are registered organ donors. I'm an organ donor because the way I look at it is, once I die, clearly, I won't need it. In addition it's a great opportunity as once last gesture to help out an individual and their family. The question is how we can get more folks to be organ donors. Here's an idea. A common-sense plan that uses market incentives to create a greater pool of donors. Registered organ donors would be entitled to priority status if they ever need an organ themselves and one becomes available. Current federal law dictates that medical need alone determines who receives an available organ. Priority status would be a powerful incentive to register to donate. It seems fair to make those willing and generous enough to participate a higher priority. Recruiting more organ donors would save thousands of lives every year. It won't cost anyone anything, and the lives it would save are priceless. I'm Dave Thomason, that's my take. What's yours?
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