High school students now get an opportunity to study about "Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplant" as a part of their curriculum in Delaware, USA.
"The goal is to give students knowledge to make informed decisions when they go to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get a driver's license," said Todd Franzen, community relations coordinator with Gift of Life Donor Program in Philadelphia.
People who have donated the organs of their loved ones, as well as people who need the organs are strong supporters of the new rule. In Delaware, 51 percent of people with a driver's license or ID choose to be organ donors, records show.
"When someone is at the hospital with a family member who is dying or has died, it's hard to approach them about organ donation. There are so many moving parts that have to fall into place for someone to become an organ donor. We have to continuously promote the need for people to be aware of organ donation," said Joe Roth, chief executive officer of New Jersey Organ and Tissue Sharing Network.
According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, 122,543 people still need a lifesaving organ transplant, and 78,905 are active wait-list candidates. In Delaware, 303 people are actively waiting for a transplant. Six people are waiting for a liver, while 297 seek a kidney.
In recent years, states have been progressively legislating organ donation education in schools and in driver education classes. In 2011, 13 states required donation education in their schools. By 2015, Delaware, Pennsylvania and California mandated similar efforts.