Saturday, March 06, 2010

I'm not dead yet!

Illinois: Kangaroo Hearing on "Presumed Consent" Organ Donation Bill Scheduled Today

(HT: Jill Stanek)

As Not Dead Yet points out, the coverage includes none of the very real voices of dissent. But what this bill proposes is performing lethal procedures on unconscious people with no form of consent whatsoever. Never mind lack of informed consent, this is no consent!

There is an appalling lack of any form of informed consent for organ donation as it is. People are not informed that "brain death" is a criterion that was created specifically in order to be able to harvest organs from living people.

I have blogged about this numerous times before, and it would behoove us to review the information:

  • On "brain death": Looks at philosophical concerns about the concept of "brain death".

  • Before their time: Excerpts from an article that people considering organ donation should read

  • Just how dead does an organ donor have to be?: Answer: "As alive as possible, as dead as necessary". Or, more to the point, NOT DEAD:

    Calling people "brain dead" so we can take their organs and give them to other people -- who, after all, need them to survive -- has worked really well for organ recipients. However, some people insist that "brain dead" isn't dead. After all, these "brain dead" people are warm and pink; they digest and metabolize food, excrete waste, undergo sexual maturation, and can even reproduce. They certainly don't look dead. They look asleep.

    Well, yeah, because they're not dead.

    Prospective donors need to know exactly how "dead" they will be when their organs are taken -- which is not dead. Some people will have a problem with this; others won't. But ought it not to be their choice whether or not they get cut open while they're still warm, pink, and showing all the signs of life except consciousness?

    Prospective recipients need to know exactly how "dead" the donor will be when his or her organs are taken-- which is not dead. Some people will have no problem with this. Others -- myself included -- will, and will voluntarily abstain from getting on any waiting lists for organs. It remains to be seen how much this will reduce the wait for organs.

    Here, for your edification, are some photos of a "brain dead" woman, taken from this PDF flier:

    Maybe I'm naive, but she just doesn't look very dead to me. And I'd bet that if you were to walk into her room and drive a knife into her heart, you'd be charged with murder. Why should it be okay to take her to the OR, strap her to a table, and start taking her organs out?

    free pollsHow does this information impact your feelings about organ donation?
    I would still be willing both to donate and to receive vital organs.
    I would be willing to donate, but not to receive, vital organs.
    I would be willing to receive, but not to donate, vital organs.
    I would not be willing to donate or receive vital organs.

    Please tell us why you voted as you did.

    To email this post to a friend, use the icon below.
  • No comments: