I’ve posted this in other places but here it is again. Very few people will every become organ donors. Less than .003% probability.
Source: Howard, D.H. and Byrne, M.M. (2007). Should We Promote Organ Donor Registries When So Few Registrants Will End Up Being Donors? Medical Decision Making, 27, 243-249.
This low probability is one of several reasons why donor registration matters so much. Since the odds are that very, very, very few people can be donors, it takes ALOT of registrations to make a difference.
From the same research by Howard and Byrne, you can see that it takes at least 40-50% of the population to be registered to even begin to have more organs available for transplant.
Now compare that with this chart showing the percentages of population registered by state.
Larson, S.M. and Bosch, D. (2011, March 29). Donor Designation.
To save lives, we simply must figure out how to encourage donor registration.