Transcript Posted for Steve Jobs Talk on Liver Transplant, California Organ Donor Law

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BusinessInsider has posted the transcript of a speech given by Apple CEO Steve Jobs in March in support of a proposed law that would require the California DMV to ask drivers if they would like to become organ donors. In that talk, he discussed his own liver transplant, and why he eventually enrolled in a Tennessee organ transplant program because there aren’t enough livers in California for the patients who need them.

The speech made news in March after it was given, but the transcript of the event offers a little more insight on Mr. Jobs’s promotion of the proposed California law, and his own efforts to secure a liver transplant.

“Last year I received a liver transplant. I was very fortunate, because many others died waiting to receive one,” Mr. Jobs said. He also noted that there were 671 liver transplants in California in 2009, but that there were some 3,400 patients on the waiting list. 400 of those patients died.

Said Mr. Jobs, “I was receiving great care here at Stanford but there were simply not enough livers in California to go around and my doctors here advised me to enroll in a transplant program in Memphis, Tennessee, where the supply/demand ratio of livers is more favorable than it is in California.”

Drivers getting or renewing their driver’s license can become organ donors through the licensing process, but interested drivers have to ask about it. The law Mr. Jobs was promoting would simply require the California DMV to ask drivers if they are interested, a measure that would likely significantly increase the number of donors in the state.

In the photos from the event published with today’s story at BusinessInsider, Mr. Jobs is seen standing with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and other business and political figures from the state. The speech was given at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, in Palo Alto, California.

According to another story from BusinessInsider, the law has been circulating in California’s legislative process for years, but has received a significant boost by Steve Jobs’s efforts to promote the law. It is up for consideration on Wednesday.

[Update: The story was updated with additional information. - Editor]

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Why is this labelled as news? This was news one month ago!

Bryan Chaffin

Oops, you’r right, Garion, and we covered it back in March, too. I was on vacation then, and didn’t realized it had already been covered.

The transcript is new, however, and I edited the story to reflect that aspect.



In my home state of PA, drivers getting/renewing their driver’s licenses are asked, and I’m proud to say I’ve been signed up as an organ donor since Day 1 of my driving career.

I’m neither proud nor pleased to state how long ago Day 1 happens to be….

In any case, I hope the law passes in California, and good for SJ for promoting it.


Why do you need a law for this? A new DMV Policy would be all that SHOULD be necessary. With a law it then becomes a crime for the DMV employee to make a simple mistake of forgetting to ask the question. We have too many laws on the books as it is.

I am not against having this as a policy, as it is easily implemented, and I am an organ donor since I’ve had my license, but a LAW is overkill.


I agree with Adam. A law is not necessary. Published policy is sufficient.

Next it will be a law requiring grocery baggers to ask “paper or plastic”.


I am new this blog site and I am enjoying the reading.

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