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Organ Donation via Presumed Consent

Discussion in 'All-Star Threads' started by Frebis, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. Frebis

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    As a man that most certainly will need a liver transplant some day I like this idea.

    But I like this idea better: Pay people money to donate organs. Or give them tax credits/ some sort of insentive.* Apparently they do this in Iran, and have more organs than they need. Sure this will only help with the stuff you have two of. But it is still a start.

    * Yes I stole this entire idea from Super Freakenomics.
     
  2. The Village Idiot

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    There's a couple of interesting points with this debate.

    First, the idea of 'presumed consent' with regards to your body's organs. It seems to me if any of us (or in this case, you Canadians) have any true freedom, the disposition of your remains, your physical form, is an essential part of any definition on freedom. In fact, the opposite of 'freedom' can be thought of as 'incarceration,' meaning, your physical body is restrained from going where you want it to go.

    Assuming you agree with the above, in essence, the legislation is incarcerating a portion of your body, against your voluntary will. Presumed consent is an oxymoron in a way. Consent usually means knowing consent.

    In short, I don't like it.

    Here's the second point, and I haven't seen it raised in that article.

    My understanding is that Canada pays for health care for its citizens. Given the fact that the rarity of organs donated by willing people may in fact drive the costs of that type of health care up, does the fact that Canada pays the health care bills give it the ability to say 'oh, yeah, since this is driving prices up for health care (because many of these folks that need organ donations are in intensive care pending their wait), we're doing this as a cost cutting measure.

    I'd be interested to see how this pans out here in the US since we also seem to be on the brink of state paid health care.
     
  3. EarthExile

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    Why not place organ donors at the top of the recipient list?

    I may be cynical, but in my experience, once you can appeal to people's selfishness, you can get them to do a lot of things.
     
  4. Currer Bell

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    For the moment I can't see a down side. I think a lot of people wouldn't have a problem donating organs, they just haven't gotten around to filling out that card or whatever. On the flip side, people who are actively opposed to it happening to them seem like they would be more likely to take that extra step to make sure it doesnt happen.

    I haven't read up on it in awhile, but does that even matter? I've heard that even when you fill out the organ donor card, it is ultimately up to the next of kin to give the go ahead. The only thing the card accomplishes is letting them know what you would have wished under the circumstances. If that has changed, then yay. My donor card is in my wallet, has been for 20 years. If my next of kin denied the organ donation, I would come back and haunt that motherfucker.
     
  5. Dcc001

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    Forced organ donation via legislation leaves me uneasy.

    I've posted about this recently, but my boss' young daughter was killed on Christmas Eve when her vehicle hit a patch of ice. The family elected to donate her organs, and it was announced at her funeral that 50 people benefited from her organs and tissue. Presumably, this decision has given the family comfort during the tragedy, and kudos to them for being able to make that decision 3 hours after they had kissed their daughter goodbye and said they'd see her tomorrow.

    My cousin died suddenly two years ago from a disease the ER doctors had missed. She was kept alive on life support until my aunt and uncle could fly to her location. Once there, they were told that, due to her disease, the only viable organs she had for transplant were her eyes. My aunt was unable to allow doctors to cut the eyes out of her only daughter, and elected to forgo the procedure.

    It should be remembered that when you're speaking of organ donation, typically the 'best' organs come from young, healthy donors. And who are those people? The people who were killed in sudden accidents, leaving a shocked family to grieve. I'm afraid that, as badly as the organs might be needed, I can't support legilation that removes the choice from the donor or the donor's estate, since the handling of a person's remains is so intimate and sensitive to the family.
     
  6. Crown Royal

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    I like this idea. However, people shuold donate their organs when they are DEAD, regardless of what your stupid beliefs are. You don't need ANYTHING when you're dead. You know what does happen? Worms eat you, and your selfishness could have saved other lives. I have a full-fledged organ donation card for ANY of my organs. You could auction me off to some randy necrophiliacs, for all I care.
     
  7. ghettoastronaut

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    The grammar of your question doesn't make sense. "Forced consent" is an oxymoron. The legislation would reverse the current situation of organ donation: you are presumed to give consent unless otherwise stated (one assumes your family could, after your death, have a say), meaning you can withdraw consent. I don't see how that's forcing consent or forcing donations. I'd agree with such a set-up.

    In any case, my health card says any of my organs can be used for medical purposes, but not scientific research. I don't want those god damn med students dissecting my beautiful corpse. Some people are queasy about donating their skin or retinas, but they take skin off of your back and your eyes are closed for a open-casket funeral anyways.
     
  8. effinshenanigans

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    Agreed. I don't care what happens to my body when I'm dead as long as they know, for sure, that I am very dead. I don't want to wake up on some butcher table to see some guy with a glass eye and a giant cleaver asking the nurse which side the liver is on.*

    If someone needs the stuff I'm not using anymore, go ahead and take it as far as I'm concerned.

    *Should probably be part of irrational fear thread, as well.
     
  9. Dcc001

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    Quite a few people are chiming in with, "Well, I'll be dead so who cares what happens to my body?" Fair enough, but I just want to bring up two points I feel are associated with that argument:

    1. I think legislation and ideas like those mentioned in this article impact the living more so than the dead. Dead people have moved on. Those left in their wake are the ones that must make decisions and live with the consequences (even if those 'consequences' are only in their own minds.) Instead of thinking about it as it would impact your dead body, imagine your brother or sister or daughter or whoever getting struck by lightening tomorrow - what choices would you be comfortable making, and what choices would you be okay with the state dictating?

    2. Make sure your next of kin know your wishes. If, god forbid, something killed my mother tomorrow I'd know to donate her organs, because she's told me that's what she wants. The problem occurs when the family is left to guess what their loved one would want, or - in the absence of knowing - deciding what they themselves are comfortable with.
     
  10. LindseyBluth

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    I have no problem with the "forced consent with opt out" issue. I don't understand why people wouldn't want to be organ donors. It boggles my mind. You are dead. You do not need your organs anymore. As for the argument that people who are grieving don't want to give up their children's/loved one's organs - I don't understand that either. I have a husband and a 3 year old daughter, and if something tragic were to happen to either of them, I would have their organs donated. I'm not some heartless bitch - in fact, quite the opposite. I would feel like I would be helping my loved one do one final act of kindness for others.

    I'm also signed up on the National Marrow Donor registry (marrow.org) just in case a stranger doesn't have a family member that can donate marrow to them. When you sign up, they just send you a swab kit in the mail and you send it back. Easy peasy. I've only been contacted to donate once, but the guy either got better or worse and didn't need the donation.
     
  11. Currer Bell

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    Even better: if you are cremated, then any possibility of missing organs creeping out the family has been reduced to nil. Plus they save thousands of dollars in the cost of a casket, burial plot, and funeral home using their skillz to make your corpse presentable.

    I don't have an issue with my body being donated to science, but I've recently learned that the process is a bit of a pain in the ass to arrange for it to happen. I can't be bothered with doing paperwork.
     
  12. Lasersailor

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    More government control? Never in the history of all the United States or the rest of the World has more government control ever lead to something good. Ever!
     
  13. Crown Royal

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    The biggest problem facing this issue is putting God into the situation, which you KNOW a lot of not-so-smart people will do. A lot of people refuse organ donation because they want to look best when they go to Heaven to party with Frank Sinatra, Jesus, and Santa Claus. These are the same people that prevent stem cell research from happening, despite the absolute OVERWHELMING response from the midical community to push forward on this project.

    Donating body tissue saves lives. And if it doesn't, it makes for an unforgettable show at the next Bodyworks.

    EDIT: Please don't use this post as a diving board to get into a Holy war on here. I don't want to stray from the important topic.
     
  14. The Village Idiot

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    Just a heads up on that, but most religions are in favor of organ donation, including Catholicism, Islam, and Judiasm. Even Jehovah's Witnesses are ok with it, so long as all the blood is drained from the organ prior to insertion (they have a prohibition against blood transfusions). Anyway, my point is religion/God isn't the main limiting factor. How individuals interpret that, well, I think your post touches on it pretty well.
     
  15. Kubla Kahn

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    David Cross (paraphrased): I don't care what you do with my body after I die, fuck it give it to some necrophiliacs. Let them fuck me in the ass, fuck me in the mouth, they can cut new holes in me and fuck me in them.

    Im in the group that couldn't care less about my dead body but still opted out when they asked me during the licensing for no better reason than I thought the Chris Rock skit was funny. I'm betting on the Egyptians being right. I read the book "Stiff" a while ago and they had a couple of chapters devoted to different things done to bodies that were donated to science. It seemed that donating your body was a crap shoot in regards to where you end up. You have some say but I'd want something cool and specific like bomb range testing or ballistics test.
     
  16. ghettoastronaut

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    I know a guy who used to work for the company that the city hired to go pick up dead bodies. He's seen what happens in the embalming process. He spent a good deal of time discussing the process with us. It is not dignified.

    Jesus I hope you're being sarcastic.
     
  17. Volo

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    Neither do I. Yeah, they're in a hurt locker for some time after losing a family member, but that doesn't mean some good can't come of it. Granted, it's not a decision that you want to make when you can barely focus after crying for days, but a lot of times the hard decisions make the most difference. I mean, you could be saving a child's life with such a donation. Imagine that. Your husband lost his life, but in the process was able to kickstart another. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'd die happy knowing I'd done something like that.

    f you really want to lessen the impact of such a loss, then start legislating that funeral homes can no longer turn a damn profit and that those seedy fucks in $1000 suits are only allowed to point at pictures. No talking for them. They rarely have anything worthwhile to say anyways. I realize that's unfair to a good number of funeral home operators, the ones who honestly have your best interests at heart, but those are the breaks. It would make things not only bearable, but also affordable. I find it fucking ridiculous that the cost for a funeral is enough to make some families starve to death. Anyone else here see the irony?
     
  18. Crown Royal

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    Funeral homes, much like student loans and wedding companies go to the school of Satanic marketing and profit. I can't think of many things more repulsve than ripping off a grieving family. Caskets cost thousands. Tombstones can cost TENS of thousands, just for the non-fancy ones. Want to stick it to the man? Fucking COSTCO now sells caskets. Really. I wonder if the shrink-wrap them in sell them in the larger two-packs as well!

    In Havana, Cuba, Christopher Columbus National Cemetary (which is ten times the size of Arlington National) guarantees a FREE casket, funeral and burial for those too poor to afford it. From what I remember of the tour, there are more than 3 million
    souls resting there.
     
  19. Frebis

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    In America you get a free pine box and burial. Which I'm guessing is much nicer than the standard Cuban casket. They even put up a wooden cross to mark your grave!
     
  20. Denver

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    As much as the freedom argument hits home with me, I don't really have a problem with presumed consent. As long as you can easily opt-out (as in, they don't make you file loads of paperwork to do it) then great. The only people who will be boned by this scheme are those who die in a car crash on their way to fill out the form, and then ironically get their organs donated. There are far worse ways the government can restrict my freedoms, particularly while I'm alive (e.g. the draft).

    More broadly, what's the rationale behind not donating your organs? I can understand not liking the government forcing people to do it, but what's the problem with doing it in the first place? The only one I've heard in this thread is families who can't bear to see their loved one cut to pieces. As much as it sucks to have a loved one die, it's pretty selfish to put your grief ahead of someone else's well-being. VillageIdiot says most major religions are okay with it so I assume that's not it. (I'm sure some religion out there is against it, which is fine and I think that's actually a better reason than just emotional ties of a grieving family.)