The sample was highly supportive of deceased donation from the outset, evidenced by 75.8% of the sample indicating willingness to be a deceased donor by signing a Uniform Donor Card or registering their preference with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles prior to enrolling in the study.
Sign a Uniform Donor Card or otherwise formally 9.4 71.8 indicate willingness to act as a deceased donor?
Since its first use, transplant proponents have declared that the uniform donor card was a legal document conclusively ensuring the donor's intent to make an anatomical gift--period.
The uniform donor card is the most commonly used document to express donative intent.
Although the public is told the uniform donor card is a legal document, signing one does not impose the same legal weight as signing other legal documents such as a contract, a will, or durable power of attorney.
Not so with the uniform donor card. According to the UAGA, persons [hospital personnel] who fail to discharge their duties to search for a donor document or discuss the option of donation with the family are not subject to criminal or civil liability, but merely subject to "appropriate administrative actions." The NCCUSL interprets this to mean that hospital accrediting bodies, law enforcement and other state agencies should be the enforcement body, not the courts.
By educating the public that the uniform donor card is a legal document yet focusing the actual consent on the next of kin confuses the public who believe legal documents are enforceable instruments.
When Americans sign a Uniform Donor Card
, pledging all or some of their body to "help others," few realize that they cannot actually limit which parts are taken, nor expect them to save lives.
The Model Donor Card, which interestingly is an exact replica of the Uniform Donor Card
of 15 years ago, includes a provision for designating whether all organs or tissue may be donated, as well as lines for signatures by two witnesses.