“If helmets reduce the number of deaths from severe brain injury, and if these deaths often involve viable organ donors, the repeal of helmet laws may increase the overall number of donors,” suggests a recent study by Michigan State University entitled, “Donorcycles: Do Motorcycle Helmet Laws Reduce Organ Donations?” It finds that organ donations due to motor vehicle deaths increase 10% when states repeal helmet laws. “Every death prevented by motorcycle helmet laws results in 0.124 fewer organ donors.”
Describing its purpose, the paper states, “This paper investigates the
possibility of an offsetting societal benefit of riding without a
helmet: do helmetless riders increase organ donation rates? If helmets
reduce the number of deaths from severe brain injury, and if these
deaths often involve viable organ donors, the repeal of helmet laws may
increase the overall number of donors.”
In its conclusion “Donorcycles” finds that while the number of organs
donated as a result of motor vehicle deaths invariably increases as
helmet laws are repealed, a nationwide elimination of mandatory
motorcycle helmets wouldn’t have a huge impact on the overall number of
organs donated, deaths by natural causes produce 80% of all donated
organs and would, presumably, be a more effective target for growth.
Thanks for the tip, Elkins.