Willing organ donors who properly register their wishes can help save lives, and avoid some of the ethical problems arising from "organ harvesting" (see recent thread discussion).
In the northwest US at least (Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho)there is a non-profit organization that maintains a registry of willing organ donors, to register their wishes. See Living Legacy Foundation - Saving Lives through Organ & Tissue Donation - WA, MT, ID, AK
Lots of people, myself included until just this week, are under the impression if they have indicated on their driver's license they will be an organ donor, their organs will be so used when they die.
Unfortunately, the driver's license "D" on the license back side is legally considered only "intent" to donate, but is not legal "consent". All too often, when such people die, their organs cannot be donated to save others lives, because their family did not know of their wishes, or are unable in a time of grief to consider the matter timely, and so do no give legal "consent" as next of kin.
As the Donate Life Registry explains:
"What is the difference between having a donor designation on my driverís license and signing up on the Registry?
A. The donation code on a driverís license is considered intent
to donate. Signing up
on the Registry is considered consent
to donate, and for individuals 18 and older, it does not require the signature of any other person. For registrants under 18, the consent of a parent or legal guardian is required."
So, to find out more about organ donation, and registering your wishes in this regard check out their website: Living Legacy Foundation - Saving Lives through Organ & Tissue Donation - WA, MT, ID, AK
There must be similar regisltries for other areas of the country.