I am lolloping along belatedly behind the organ donation opiners . The point , should anyone have missed it , is that you will have to opt out of organ donation under Brown`s new plans and initial reaction of some of the right has to talk about the state nationalising your body . I think overall this is misguided.
Some 1000 people a year die is dreadful circumstances due to the lack of organs . 90% of the population favour organ donation and yet only 25% get round to carrying an organ donor card. So are we entitled to assume we can harvest their flesh after death ? . Polly Toynbee puts the figure into what appears a devastating context
“How many is 1,000 lives a year? Imagine if the government promised there would be no murders next year (755), plus no pedal cycle deaths (146); or no pedestrian deaths (675); or no motorbike deaths (599); or no deaths from falling down stairs (1,000). Imagine if the NHS could promise no deaths from cervical cancer (1,061) or from bone cancer (1,007). In that context, a government saving 1,000 lives a year with a stroke of a pen is an easy win. Then add in the 10,000 other very sick or blind people who will be helped”
By her logic , of course , we should ban running in the house if not walking on the pavement nonetheless I don’t deny the force of the argument. People are quite reasonably concerned that Doctors , used to making pragmatic decisions will be tempted to harvest organs with a little too much enthusiasm . Furthermore all those with a residual sense of the sacredness of the body will be horrified at the prospect of the organ harvesters attending the death bed like vultures not to say the habitual bureaucratic barbarism of the state in dealing with objections .
On balance though I support the idea . We cannot be endlessly responsible for other people’s indolence and if their feelings are strong then they should act ,as can their relatives after death. Suppose we denied organs to those who have not agreed to donate theirs? No-one would be so inhumane and yet there is a primitive justice. Given that using organs is the choice of 99.9% when they need them I think the safeguards are sufficient and the Conservative Party should back the proposal.
So....this is a first , I think I am saying Gordon brown has done a good thing....shudder.