(Credit cards could be used to indicate availability of cadaver organs for transplantation)
In a letter in this week's BMJ Dr Neil Davidson from the Armed Forces Hospital in Kuwait suggests that credit cards could be used as donor cards, indicating that on the death of a patient they consent to donate their organs for transplantation.
"There is a willingness in life to donate organs for transplantation after death, but it is the tiny hindrances to translating that willingness into a consent that is legally binding, rather than the availability of cadavers, that has led to severe shortages of organs," says the author. He recognises that until "smart cards" (which could incorporate medical information) become available, a format for making consent apparent needs to be devised and that the phraseology and mechanism for non-consents needs to be developed. He concludes that credit cards could radically improve the supply of donor organs for transplantation.
Dr Neil Davidson, Consultant Physician, Department of Medicine, Armed Forces Hospital, PO Box 5190, Salmiya 22062, Kuwait