Flutterby™! : No helmets for organ donation

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No helmets for organ donation

2009-06-30 13:58:43.287255+00 by Dan Lyke 6 comments

Freakonomics blog entry which points to Donorcycles: Do Motorcycle Helmet Laws Reduce Organ Donations?, an as-yet unpublished paper that says that:

Our estimates imply that every death of a helmetless motorcyclist prevents or delays as many as 0.33 deaths among individuals on organ transplant waiting lists.

A friend of ours is currently on the waiting list for a liver. I support choice in helmet use.

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comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2009-06-30 14:37:34.05229+00 by: meuon

Thats why the ER staff calls them donorcycles, and a motorcycle accident victim, even a near hopeless case, gets priority ambulance and trauma unit attention. Not only to possibly save their life, but others as well.

I support choice, but I also spent money on a good helmet when I rode and used it. I figure a little darwinism of the gene pool can be a good thing.

Besides, it's really hard to hear without a helmet on, or look to the side at speed as your kewl sunglasses blow off at 60mph.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-06-30 15:31:08.128046+00 by: jeff

The conclusion cited in the study:

"Although our estimates point to a sizeable effect of helmet laws on motor vehicle accident-based organ donations, the repeal of all helmet laws as a measure to reduce the severe shortage of organs in the U.S. would be ineffective in isolation, primarily because over 80 percent of organ donors die due to circumstances unrelated to motor vehicle accidents.

Our preferred estimates imply that nationwide elimination of helmet laws would increase annual organ donations by less than one percent."

I always ride with a helmet.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-06-30 19:46:38.427425+00 by: petronius [edit history]

Of course, if you rode this you wouldn't need a helmet.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-06-30 21:54:03.633613+00 by: meuon


Has better pictures. And yes, you should STILL wear a helmet, even on that.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-07-01 18:36:18.936118+00 by: andylyke [edit history]

In support of freedom of choice, I offer that anybody should be able to ride without a helmet, provided that he understands that the state and insurance companies (people) will not pick up any of the costs incurred due to injuries attributable to the absence of the helmet.

As a side note - I heard some time ago that when the English introduced helmets in WWI, the incidence of traumatic brain injury went up. (what would have been corpses were then vegetables)

#Comment Re: made: 2009-07-01 19:59:24.95502+00 by: Larry Burton

Andy the same thing happened with motorcycle helmets in the late 70s in regards to fatalities due to severe neck injuries.

I can understand the sentiment in turning off any state aid or insurance claims by people with injuries that could have been avoided by use of a helmet but there are also liability issues involved in that a person has to be involved in an accident before the helmet becomes useful and that accident may be caused by the negligence of others. If I cross the center line and hit a motorcyclist who isn't wearing a helmet are you suggesting that I would not be liable for head injuries in your scenario?