Vermont Driver's Licenses Cost an Arm and a Leg– and Then Some

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
vermont drivers licenses cost an arm and a leg 8211 and then some

Attention residents of The Green Mountain State! Has your legislature got a deal for you! In return for your vital organs, you could drive free for the rest of your life! While a lot of states have organ donor boxes on their driver's licenses (which we at TTAC encourage you to tick), Vermont wants to sweeten the pot. So the pols have ponied-up a bill that would waive the cost of the driver's license fee for anyone agreeing to part with their parts once they depart. The Burlington Free Press does the math. By participating in the program in your mid-30's, you could save up to $400, provided you live to your late 70's. Of course, finding any organs still fit to be transplanted in a 78-year old donor isn't their problem. That's why the transplant surgeons get paid the big bucks. [thanks to Gord Mack for the link]

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  • Jthorner Jthorner on Jan 31, 2008

    Vermont has a good idea here. Clearly for the vast majority of people the possibility of donating organs isn't going to come up, and that is lucky for them. For the relatively few who become donor candidates it makes sense to do everything possible to encourage it, and waiving the nominal driver's license fee in return for people making their organs available if the horrible happens is a great idea. If something unthinkable happens to me and another person can get their eyesight back or live to see their grandchildren born then all the better. I don't want to die, but if the unthinkable happens it would be nice if someone else enjoyed a real upside as a consequence of my misfortune. Now that Saudi sheik thing is just horrific, and I believe the story. Tell me again why we are OK with spending a billion dollars PER DAY on imported oil?

  • Cjdumm Cjdumm on Jan 31, 2008

    I support donation, but having said that I have very serious issues with the way that donated organs are distributed here in the US. Hospitals make big money performing transplants, recipients (or their insurance carriers) get charged hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the donor and his/her family gets squat. I might feel comfortable donating my organs, if the hospital and doctors and medical consumable vendors are also required to donate their products/services. It would anger me too much to know that Humana Hospitals would stand to profit tens of thousands of dollars from my generosity... And it would also be nice if organs weren't fast-lined to the wealthy, famous and politically connected, with no regard to how deserving they were or much use they would get from them. Why did hundreds of Hepatitis patients get sidelined so Mickey Mantle could get a new liver in two days? Just to die of cancer a few months later? So I'm really conflicted: in favor of giving life to others, but very much against propping up the broken and crooked system that distributes these precious gifts. Vermont is opening the door to allowing the sale of human organs, for better or worse.

  • Stephan Wilkinson Stephan Wilkinson on Jan 31, 2008

    I very much doubt that anybody gets "charged" for a donated organ. Yes, medical staffs and hospitals charge for the procedures, but so they should. Who ever said they're supposed to do their work for free just because somebody donated an organ? If you give your buddy a crate motor, does that mean the Chevy dealer is supposed to install it for free?

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Jan 31, 2008

    cjdumm, I think you are confusing a couple issues. First of all, asking doctors and hospitals to donate their services just because you donate your organs isn't exactly fair to them. You are donating something that has no virtually no value to you, and you are asking them to work for free after spending over a decade of their lives learning the skills needed to do a transplant. If the real economics involved in being a doctor vs. other career paths were really well known, we would have half as many doctors, and we would have to pay for ALL their training. I am not aware of any data showing the wealthy get fastlined organs. Could you point us to some? I can tell you that socialized medicine moves the discrimination from the wealthy to the powerful and influential, because I lived it (and nearly died from it). I am also not sure which way to stand on the selling of organs. I lean towards allowing the sale. If everyone who had no religious convictions against it were to donate, the resulting costs would be next to nothing due to over supply. In fact, over supply would solve most of the existing problems with the whole system, and I think this is what Vermont is aiming for. If it works, it will turn out to be a really cheap solution.