Tuesday, January 15, 2008

We`ve Come For Your Organs



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.

28 comments:

Ed said...

No.

Newmania said...

Waddya mean No ?

Anonymous said...

God forbid, imagine you are injured in a accident and your injuries give you a 50/50 chance of survival. You happen to be a perfect tissue match for Gordon Brown (or his son with CF) who lies in the next bed and need your heart and lungs.

Who do you believe th doctors will strive to save?

Auntie Flo'

hatfield girl said...

No means No

Newmania said...

HG you are allowed to say no ?...( Anyway 'no' quite often means maybbe later...:))

Newmania said...

Not at all sure brown is alive in the usual sense Flo

Ed said...

I am up for the taxpayer trying to persuade people to voluntarily agree to donate their organs after death, but it is not the role of Parliament to decree what happens to my remains after my death.

The French have gone down this road, and have a statutory system for the division of estates amongst next of kin, would you like that introduced here too? Why not ban cigarettes, alcohol, fatty foods, cars, staircases, and the rest. Why not just prevent us from making mistakes by law?

Ed said...

By the way, my medical record has a tick in the space where it said "do you wish your organs to be donated after your death" - just so you know.

Anonymous said...

Also, A friend of mine who had treatable cancer is now on the point of entering a hospice to die because:

1. The NICE committee dragged their heels for two months over the decision to allocate the £32K funding for the op' which would have saved her life.

2. Insufficient funds are allocated for post operative hospital beds/care.

3. The outrageous injustice of too many useless overpaid chief and not enough Indians and beds in the NHS.

4. Funds have to be syphoned off to Scotland - where my friend would have had her op' by now.

Imagine the pressure thousands of transplants will add to this already insanely overstretched system.

Given the above, do you seriously believe that these organs are destined to become transplants?

Presumed consent is to give Brown final proprietorial rights over us all and for spare parts to sell to rich bidders, nothing more.

Auntie Flo'

Newmania said...

Great Ed I `ll have your kidneys with a nice chianti

Newmania said...

Well Flo, ther NHS badly needs to be reformed its true but yes i thknk they will be used as tranplants and if the poeple are dead it matters n0t a lot if one or two are not

Newmania said...

Ed , your objections ...thats all pretty weak when you are ill and need the organ.

Its not perfect but I just think overall....

Anonymous said...

How long before we have the Chinese system of organ harvesting?

Transplant hospitals next door to prisons and internment camps where political 'offenders' are held until a rich tissue match comes along prepared to pay for them to be carefully garotted in a public football stadium so as not to damage the valuable goods.

Which young offender's nose would you like, sir, the aquiline or the bob?

Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

Remember the plasticated Chinese body exhibition which toured this country, n?

All very young perfect 'specimens', mostly male, all with no sign of disease, not a mark on any of them.

These were political prisoners killed to demonstrate the plastication skills of the Chinese and as a disgustingly ghoulish advertisment of how easily accessible matching spare body parts are in totalitarian China.

Auntie Flo'

Ed said...

But N, the NHS hasn't even TRIED to persuade people to sign up to the existing system. Sorry I just don't buy this "greater good by compulsion" argument any more than I buy this "forward not back" attitude to many many things. You are falling into the "if you aren't with us you must be a sick selfish hater of mankind" argument which is, sorry N, bollocks.

The decision over what to do with my dead body should be for my next of kin to decide on the basis of what he/she thinks I would want. My tick in the box gives a pretty good impression, but what if they can't find my tick in the box at the appropriate moment? Do you trust Big Government to make the right decision? I don't.

Anonymous said...

If the people are dead....n


Aren't most organs are removed while the donor is still alive, breathing, heart still beating, n.

Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

Have you any idea how ruthless and proprietorial the medical profession are over their pound of flesh?

The family of a friend who had - only just - died suddenly in hospital were told to stop grieving and leave the room the moment her heart stopped beating. The surgeon wanted HIS body sent to the theatre right away. One grieving young one was actually dragged off their mother's body.

Those family who had not been present at the death and viewed the 'body' after organ removal said what they presented with was such a gruesome mess which the medical profession made no attempt to disguise (not that they could, there was so little left) that they would never, ever given their permission had they known.

Auntie Flo'

Ed said...

My flatmate (a GP) and I discussed this issue. I said I was against compulsion and he basically accused me of being the scum of the earth for not holding the approved opinion. He wouldn't even enter into a debate about the whys and wherefores.

Newmania said...

Ed I `m not unbalanced about it i do understand the concerns , but we are not , as scare mongering Auntie Flo , would imply , living in China , and given the suffering involved and that you can quite simply refuse to do it ...( as can your relatives after death ) and the suffering and the certainty that you would not want to hear about delays if you were dying . Would you !

Overall I think a good thing but if you want to waive your right to an organ and opt out that would be fine by me .
That is the real choice so with all the problems I still say for the best.Its nothing to do with the greater good its to do with fair and enlightened self interest.

On the other hand why not enforce the choice through passports of driving liecnces that would solve mots of the problem. I would be ahppy with that to but this is better than what we have .

Think of the people suffering now !This is not compulsory remember which I would have strong objections to to say the least

Anonymous said...

One other crucial point.

The backlash of this outrageous opt out policy - combined with concerns about Brown's real motives and increased awareness of what being a donor actually means for the donor and their family - in my view is likely to lead to a significant reduction in the number of donors.

Have a look at the BBC's Have Your Say topic on this. Literally scores of registered donors state there that they will withdraw their registration if the system becomes one of opting out rather than opting in.

Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

Donor status on driving licenses? No way will nulab do that.

This opt out policy will be used as the justification for the much opposed DNA database and ID Cards, n.

Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

And the policy is yet another measure to bring us into line with the EU's decrees.

Well, f*ck the EU!

Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

Remember too, n, that the likes of you and I can be donors, we will never be allowed to be recipients no matter how desperately we might need a transplant.

c 12 million smokers,
c 10(?)million very overweight people,
c 5(?) million drinkers and c 11 million pensioners are all disqualified from receiving transplants.

So who are the 24 million left who do qualify for transplants?

Nulabs???

Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

'So, who are the 24 million people who do qualify for transplants?'

More precisely,

Nulabs and Scots???


Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

A scaremonger, me?

Taking refuge in refuge in ad hominems, n, is totally uncompelling. You are not going to get a transplant, so stop ducking and diving and please address the issues raised :)

Auntie Flo'

Newmania said...

Flo I do think you are allowing your indignation to cloud your natural sympathy a bit although. I agree with your views on all the subjects you mention but I don`t see the connection the way you seem to.

The fact is if you need an organ you will get one if there is one available and this will help. Interesting what you say about smokers etc. though ,...I must say that is a good point .


Hmmmm

Still you have to make a choice and overall I know I should my son need a kidney I would not give a flying fuck about the rest of it

Anonymous said...

overall I know I should my son need a kidney I would not give a flying fuck about the rest of it (newmania)


I would feel the same if any of my family needed a transplant. However, my argument is that the spare parts pool is likely to re reduced rather than enhanced by this opt out policy.

The backlash among registered donors is not a my fanasy, it's happening now, donors are tearing up their cards and deregistering.

Yet the reverse could be true if the opt in system was made more user friendly and sympathetic to grief, if there were trained, sympathetic personnel to approach families and if there was a proper publicity campaign.

Did you know that wives and parents are telephoned minutes after being informed of the death of their loved ones and asked a long list of highly intrusive, personal questions?

Was their loved one gay? If so, they are excluded - I missed them off my earlier list, by the way.

Were they sexually promiscuous? Details and dates of illnesses, op's, treatment, family genetic problems, blood transfusions etc, etc.

Auntie Flo'

Newmania said...

I`m not convinced Flo I think this is a Libertarian point too far for me. I have given my overriding reason

Blog Archive