Big bother

In the news today is a story about organ donation.  It seems that Wales now has a policy of assuming that everbody is happy to donate their organs unless they ‘opt out’.

For many years, the system has been that hospitals/doctors had to check for, and find, an organ-donor card before they could remove organs from a recently deceased person.  For many years, there have been arguments made that many valid organs were lost to the transplant pool because the card giving permission was not found.

So they’ve changed the system in Wales.  Now, they have to look for a card that says ‘No, you can’t have my organs’ before they ignore it and say ‘Sorry, didn’t find it in time…’

Honestly, how many of you believe that they will spend any energy searching for a card that refuses them permission?

Now, I am not in any way opposed to organ-donation: a member of my family benefitted from it, after all, and I carried a card for many years.  I think it is a noble thing to do, and I have great respect for those who choose to do it.

But the key word is choose.

All you had to do in the past was carry a card in your wallet, or purse, and tell your family what you wanted.  Then, when you came off your motorbike and died, the authorities looked in your wallet, found the card, and whipped out your kidneys while your body was still warm.  If they couldn’t find your wallet, they would call your family and ask – and still get the organs while warm.

I know, most people are indifferent.  They don’t care either way, and if you could ask them you would get permission.  I’m familiar with the arguments: time is lost while they seek permission; organs are lost when permission is given too late; etc. etc.
Most people are too self-centered to carry donor-cards – they’re convinced that they will life forever, after all.

But…  If your religion teaches that you cannot reach heaven without your liver; or you have strong feelings that your wife should be buried with her heart intact; or you just don’t want the body interfered with for any reason at all, you now need to do a lot of things:

  1. Carry a non-donor card, in every pocket of every item of clothing
  2. Tell everybody you have ever met that you don’t want your organs touched, in case that is the person the authorities contact
  3. Have the words ‘Do not take my organs’ tattooed on your chest
  4. Pray that your wishes are respected.

Because, I guarantee, the doctors care more about saving another persons life than they care about your wishes.

Previously, they had to spend precious time chasing permission.  Now, they can either spend precious time chasing a lack of permission, or spend that time harvesting organs and transplanting them.

Which do you think they’ll do?  How many seconds will they spend trying to get an answer from family that may be what they don’t want to hear?

It’s easier to seek forgiveness than permission.

They are counting on public lethargy.  They are saying that, as most people would donate their organs if asked, they can just take them and deal with a few complaints from those opposed to the idea.

And of course, once they’ve put the heart in a new body, you can’t take it out without killing the recipient – so your relatives are faced with the tough choice of respecting your wishes only by causing the death of a stranger…

More and more, I’m noticing, the government is bullying us.  They introduce a new system, and tell us we can choose not to take part.  My partner died almost a year ago, as you know.  Since then, I’ve had a questionaire sent to me on three seperate occassions.  Or is it four?
They want to know how the health services dealt with the illness, and death.  None of the questions apply to my situation, and I’m just not interested in answering them.  So I throw it in the bin, and they send me another one.
Every time they send one, they include a letter telling me why it’s important to them that I answer, and they tell me to call or write them if I’m not interested.
Why?  Why not send me the first one, with a letter saying ‘We won’t bother you again unless you contact us’?
My way, they save a fortune on printing and posting the forms.  Their way, they get to keep pestering me (and wasting money) until I get so fed up I contact them.

They are taking away our choices, and I think we should refuse to let them.

So get non-donor cards, get tattoos, get ‘leave my organs alone’ car stickers – do everything you can to make sure they will lose the court case when they take your organs.

Because they will take them, no matter what you do.

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