Opt-in, Opt-Out? Default Architecture in French Organ Donation

Meet the man who died the most. In movies. This film was directed by Steve Rogers and is part of a larger campaign by the Agence de la biomédecine to increase awareness around organ donation among French youth. 

Effective January 1, every French citizen is now an organ donor by default.  This is a reversal of the previous policy of opting-in to become an organ donor.  If you do not wish to be an organ donor, you may join the “refusal register” online. So far, only 150,000 people have joined this list out of France’s 66 million citizens.  Proponents of this change hope it will increase the number of organ donations, as there are significant shortages in both France and the EU. 

Although it is too early to evaluate this change, the law is influenced by the Behaviour Economics of Dan Ariely.  Ariely compares data from countries that operate under both systems.  It turns out that in both scenarios a large number of people simply choose the default option.  Mostly because of laziness, people tend to look for the easiest choice.  It’s not quite that simple, however.  The author here suggests that the “opt-in” versus “opt-out” choice architecture also changes the frame of reference from one of altruism to obligation. 

So how else can this default choice architecture influence your business?  Consider the ways in which you can influence a wide range of stakeholders and their environments to make your product the default option.  Is it possible to reframe the context or reposition your product?  Sometimes achieving your desired results can be as simple as resetting the default.

“France’s New Opt-Out Organ Donation System Is a Good Idea"  http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2017/01/frances-new-opt-out-organ-donation-system-is-a-good-idea.html