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Organ Donation via Presumed Consent

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

  1. Porkins

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    All I know is that if I meet 72 virgins in the afterlife sans eyes, skin, liver and/or kidneys -- or god forbid something(s) more important to the situation at hand -- I'm going to be more than a little pissed.

    On a more serious note, I'm disappointed that the majority of people in this thread seem completely unable to see the opposing point of view in this discussion. Have you all no sympathy for a grieving parent that just lost their child? Or a newly minted widow?

    You're all presenting the argument as if people who would wish not to donate their organs or those of a loved one are acting purely out of selfishness and self-interest. But this is one of those issues where rational behavior will oftentimes go out the window. And who's to say who's right? I don't think anyone that hasn't been faced with the decision to donate the organs of someone they've just lost has the right to make sweeping statements of right and wrong about something such as this.
     
  2. Crown Royal

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    What arguement is to be had here? That's like that stupid fucking bitch who left a billion dollars to her cat. And people CAN make that decision, right away, in the wrost kind of tragedy. When my friend Newf was murdered in cold blood in December 2004 his parents signed off on his organ donation the next night. Somebody out there recieved his heart and, and probably got to live out their life because of it.

    The ONLY time this goes awry is when somebody pisses away their second chance at life like that fucking asshole Mickey Mantle: bumped to the top of the liver transplant list and proceeds to piss his life away..AGAIN. At least he had the decency to die this time and let a logical person get the next donation.
     
  3. Porkins

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    Very simply, the argument is that just because someone you know was able to make such a tough decision, doesn't mean that everyone else can, or should be able to, or should much less be forced too.
     
  4. Dcc001

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    Amen to this. You don't know how you'll react in the face of sudden tragedy, or what will give you comfort. Close your eyes and imagine yourself, one hour from now, face-to-face with a doctor who's holding a pen asking for your wife's heart, eyes and liver. What do you do? Very easy to flippantly say how you'd respond...in the actual, no warning, sudden heat of the moment you have no clue how you'll feel or what you'll do. Ultimately, the idea that anybody else can dictate what will happen to your remains besides your family is unsettling.

    Maybe they object for religious purposes, maybe the idea makes them squeamish, maybe they're so hurt over your death that they can't yet come to terms with cutting you to pieces.

    And prior to recent medical technology, all the people who were on organ donation waiting lists would have simply had to suffer with their ailments - the fact that their medical problems may be allieviated if an organ becomes available should be seen as a bonus rather than a right. That may sound cold, but I've explained my reasons for being in control of what happens to my loved one's remains.
     
  5. Crown Royal

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    How is it a tough descision in the first place? "Logical descision" is more like it. Even in tough times, I see it as a simple (well, not exactly)yes/no answer. With all the bullshit used car salesman-esque con games a funeral director puts people through, I think this should be a cake walk by comparison. "Would you like to donate your loved ones never-seen but useful body tissue that will either be consumed by insects or scorched into dust by a cremation furnace?" Unless that said person objected to it while they were alive I would say no, otherwise I've never heard an easier question in my entire life.
     
  6. Currer Bell

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    I think I'm a bit confused about what it is this proposed legislation is forcing the next of kin to do. Is it forcing them to let the deceased's organs be donated whether they like it or not, or is it forcing them to make that decision whether to donate the organs when they otherwise wouldn't be asked?

    This quote:

    Wouldn't the next of kin have the authority to "say the contrary"?
     
  7. c_norris

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    You want to cheer up when you're feeling self-pity or sadness? Do something nice for someone (or many someones) less fortunate than you. Like the 6-year-old at the top of the list for a liver transplant.

    Most people, unsurprisingly, don't understand this.
     
  8. Primer

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    I damn well expect my family or friends to make this decision - if they cannot, I'm not going to let them have the chance, it's that simple. I don't know what kind of world you live in but life is fucking hard, there isn't anyway to make it easier and decisions like this are apart of life. People who say this bullshit piss me off to no end; you're dead! Fucking dead! In two days, you'll either be cremated or buried in the ground in your Sunday best. In two days, nobody will ever see your face again. In two days, your heart could be helping out a crash victim, you skin helping a burn victim or your eyes helping a man or woman see again.

    If you can die with the knowledge that you've saved one, two or a dozen lives with your now transplanted body parts, won't that at least give you comfort in your death? Sure does for me. I know that day in and day out, no matter what I do with my life (the good, bad or the ugly), that I'll be able to make better or save many peoples lives.

    Yes, it's a simple argument.
     
  9. Porkins

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    Forgive me for being confrontational, but what the fuck?

    Your child/husband/wife/sibling just died. You should just cheer the fuck up shouldn't you? You can be sad for like a day, but then you should think of other people, right? No.

    If there is ever an occasion in life for complete selfishness to be excused, I would say the death of someone you loved is it. If you or someone you know has dealt with an unexpected death and have been able to give away their loved one's organs, they are a better person than I. Personally, I don't know if I'd be able to do it. Either way, I'm sure as hell not going to go around mandating everyone else do it just because a family I knew/heard about could.

    I'm truly and honestly baffled as to how this is even a debatable point. Are there any moments in life that rival an unexpected death from a grief/sadness/you have no idea how the fuck you'll handle it point of view? If there are, the list has to be short. And your response to that is "well, doing something nice for someone else will help them." Really?

    I feel the exact same way you do. But what if someone, with a different but equally sensible set of beliefs (religious or otherwise) doesn't feel the same way you do? Should they be required, by default, to subjugate their belief system to yours? Yes, they can and in all likelihood will opt out. But kids in school don't have to say "Under God" in the pledge of allegiance or read the Bible verse on the statue they walk by every day, yet those are still hotly debated issues that some people feel very strongly about. Imagine it from their point of view for a second.

    It seems so clear to many of you that an opt-out program, as opposed to the opt-in program in place currently, has zero drawbacks. And for you, your family, and everyone you know or associate with, that may well be the case. But for some people the sanctity of the body in death is of paramount importance. Others simply may not be able to stomach what they perceive as a mutilation of someone they love so soon after their passing.

    Whatever the case, throwing around absolute statements regarding something [that I'm assuming] few if any of us have much experience with is naive and, frankly, insulting.
     
  10. Currer Bell

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    So what exactly are the drawbacks? If next of kin truly are given the right to make the decision to opt out, then spell out for me how this is worse than making the decision to opt in? People do the opt out thing all the time. The organ donor card in my wallet is a piece of paper that expresses my wishes, but that is it. If my next of kin can't stomach my organs being donated, then it isn't going to happen.

    As a previous poster pointed out, gruesome decisions have to be made all the time when a loved one's life is ended. How is signing Yes or No for organ donation any more horrifying a thought than deciding whether you should or pick out the box that their body will be buried in or have them cremated?

    I would never presume to know what I would or would not do in the moment of grief. It is entirely possible I would flake out. But I do know what I would want to do, and I can probably guarantee that if in a moment of pain I denied a loved one's desire to have their organs donated, I would regret it later.
     
  11. Denver

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    I can completely understand why it's bad if the government forces organ donation (although making it opt-out rather than the current opt-in definitely is not "forcing"), but I don't see how any sensible person who would normally be for organ donation gets a pass just because it's their loved one that died. Pure hypocrisy. If you're gonna be flying by the seat of your emotions for days after your loved one's death, maybe they should wheel in all the people who would benefit from the organs on gurneys, so they can understand the emotional implications of their decision. I really doubt donation would be a decision they would regret later. "Gee, I really wish I hadn't donated her organs and vastly improved many other people's lives. Having her physical body with me would have really helped me more than those people." No fucking way. It'd more likely be "Gee, why did I choose to keep her body with me when it could have been helping so many other people? I was so selfish." I really cannot fathom you're argument.

    It's not like you could still save them or bring them back. Your loved one is dead. People who have a loved one in a vegetative state where organ donation could help others but believe they'll come out of it eventually at least have a sensible position. They have a right to be selfish. And while it certainly is someone's right to not donate their spouse's or whoever's organs when they actually die, there's no way it is the right decision, logically or ethically as far as I'm concerned.
     
  12. Dcc001

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    I'm sorry, I can't understand the vitriol that's happening in this thread right now.

    I am not for or against organ donation: I am for the next of kin having the choice. If I, as the next of kin to someone who has died either too young to decide whether or not to donate their organs or someone of legal age but who had never communicated their wishes, elect to not donate than that is my business. You cannot know why a person does or does not wish to do something in moments of profound grief and shock. To flippantly say "march the children who need kidneys in here so they can see who needs organs," is insensitive and quite frankly has no place in the debate.

    Are there people in the world right now suffering because they need a new [organ]? Most definitely. I feel badly for them. However, I still feel that my body is mine to distribute as I see fit, as is the body of my dependant children or any relatives that haven't made their wishes known. It should be for the family to decide. Now, if the legislation is suggesting that it's still the family's choice, they'd merely be signing off on the "no" choice, then fine. So long as the ultimate authority rests with them.
     
  13. Porkins

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    Everybody knows the difference between economic and accounting profit right? Well, in much the same way, not all costs (or benefits) are monetary, or even readily quantifiable.

    A hypothetical: someone dies without opting out (i.e. they did NOT say they wished to keep their organs.) Their very religious family members arive, and to their horror, find out that this person is missing their heart/liver/kidney/eye. Assuming there is no lawsuit or anything, there isn't really a cost here in the typical sense, but no one standing there when the family learns this news and gets angry/sad/distraught could reasonably say there was no cost to it all.

    That's the kind of cost I'm talking about.

    Now, we can debate the chances of something like this occurring until we're blue in the face. But whatever system it is that we create, it will never be perfect, and mistakes will always happen. An opt-out system may, in fact, be better. But let's not hastily jump (and I don't think you have in this post) to the conclusion that in every way, shape and form it is better.
     
  14. Porkins

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    It seems like you're advocating partly for an opt-out system (i.e. a choice), and partly for a system that mandates (at least morally) donation.

    I think there's merit to the former, but the latter to me is insular, insensitive, and reprehensible.
     
  15. ghettoastronaut

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    No one here has argued that the NOK or individual shouldn't have the option to refuse to donate their organs. What has been argued is that, in light of that ability, one should choose to donate organs. It's a hallmark of nearly every moral issue debate that few people are capable of separating the question of what should be legally permissible and what action an individual ought to undertake within the context of legal behaviour.

    Case in point. Denver explicitly argued that there should be an opt-out system where consent is assumed unless indicated otherwise (of course, this is not forcing consent), and pointed out that government-enforced organ donation would be bad. Then, explained he (she?) didn't understand why someone would refuse to donate their NOK's organs on a personal basis, not on a legal one.
     
  16. Primer

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    Somehow, my post did take and I've managed to lose the entire damn thing:

    I want to point out that I think there is nothing wrong with not donating (I would have said I won't judge you at all but lets be honest here). Freedom of choice is one of the fundamental aspects of our lives; If I cannot make decisions based on how I feel or do what I want, then I might as well move to Cuba/Russia/The moon and become a Socialist/Commy/whatever.

    My mother is a nurse; I've seen what happens to people when they cannot get the organ donations they need. People pretty much sit and wait until one of two things happen: get the organ they need or they die. It's a terrible aspect of life but it's the solid truth. If I can convince one more person to help out and donate then I will.

    That said, I start to really squirm when someone tells me I must do something. I don't like the idea of an opt-out system and really think that better education is the key to solving these issues. Sit down High school kids, ones who are old enough to make decisions in one big assembly (or in class) and show them the benefits of donating their organs or when someone gets their drivers license. Sure, there is going to be a good bunch of people who still will not donate but that's going to happen with any system that is chosen.
     
  17. Muses

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    I lost my older brother to complications from primary sclerosing cholangitis, a rare liver disease. The transplant he received gave my family another precious year with him before he died. If another loved one of mine were to pass, no matter how horrific the circumstances of their death I would not think twice about donating their organs so maybe some other family can have another year - or two, or twenty - with one of their loved ones. I won't ever have to make that call though, because my whole family has already opted in.

    Of course this is a very emotional issue for me, but I would undoubtedly support an opt-out system over the current opt-in one. Nobody should be forced to donate any part of their body, but we should make it as fucking easy as possible for people to save the lives of others. Opt-out would reach those who don't sign up to be donors simply out of ignorance or laziness, just because they don't realize how important it really is - and for their families, having donation be the "default" choice might make the idea of their loved one's insides being cut out seem less bizarre or gruesome. And really, it's no more gruesome than every other aspect of death.

    For the people who really have some sort of objection to organ donation, despite knowing exactly what donating an organ can mean to others - and I would wager anything that those people are in the minority - the opt-out choice is always there.
     
  18. scotchcrotch

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    As logical as organ donation is, we have to set logic aside as that's not the issue at hand. It's government intervention.

    Similar to freedom of speech, some nutjob may enjoy burning the American flag on a daily basis, and the majority knows this is bullshit. These are all extreme instances, but where's the line drawn? You can't redraw the line after it's been crossed.

    You never know if/when you'll be in that minority and freedom isn't available only for what concerns you.
     
  19. redbullgreygoose

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    What card? I put myself down as an organ donor when I got my license. Doesn't that make me one? It says it right there below my signature.
     
  20. ghettoastronaut

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    What government intervention? There is no more or less intervention than there was. Current legislation says that you do not consent to organ donation unless you/your family state otherwise. The issue at debate is a system where consent is presumed unless stated otherwise. Please tell me where you got the idea that the government would be forcing organ donation upon unwilling individuals and families.

    The only reason I was able to get myself registered as an organ donor was because I had to go get a new health card, on account of having lost my old one. I was signing some forms and noticed the organ donor part, and had the guy print out a new copy to indicate that I did want to be an organ donor; previously, I just had one of those shitty paper business card-sized forms they send to you in the mail. Whether we use an opt-in or opt-out system, a simple question like that should be a part of every driver's license / health card renewal (i.e. "your current donor status is this, do you want to change it?"), to make sure people have their wishes put down formally. I mean, legal documents with a notarized signature and all are a lot more convincing than that stupid business card I carried around.

    It seems to me under the current system that even if someone sets out their wishes to donate their organs, NOK still have a veto over it. I mean, we can cry left and right over how horrified a family might be if they discover that their dead family member can't see in paradise without their retinas, but if someone's an adult and sets out their wishes through proper channels, why should someone who isn't their legal guardian get to over-rule that decision?