The European Parliament is calling for a Europe-wide donor card in order to reduce the shortage of organs available for transplant. The region-wide card would supplement existing national systems. There will also be a 24-hour telephone hotline, which sounds good, but it will need to be multi-lingual, and thus expensive, and it's …
I saw an excellent lecture on behavioural economics recently, and the subject of organ donation was examined. The essence of it all was that people will take the default option, regardless of what it is (donate or do not donate).
Given that, why on earth does the UK not move to an opt-out system? It should make no difference at all to the people who do not wish to give organs and would save hundreds of lives.
Can i get a card but specify that none of my organs are to be given to a Frenchman?
Organs Are Funny Things....
Setting aside issues surrounding organ trafficking, Alder Hay Hosptial, infectious diseases, and the potential lifespan of the transplanted organs ("nearly new, pre-owned liver, free to good home")*, I am distinctly of the opinion that organs and tissues for transplantation don't last that long after the clinical death of the host and that this opens up a very short window of opportunity for the transplantation procedure.
* And, no, I'm not trying to be insenstive about the whole matter. Human life is important and needs to be preserved wherever possible.
How does one address things like tissue rejection testing with such little time?
Are we going to end up with (another) highly-secure, multiple-language, EU-wide database linking prospective donors with those with a stated medical need to ensure the organ gets to the right part of the EU in 24 hours or less?
Don't the sheer logistics of the task reduce the liklihood of success?
Maybe they could get together with the Congolese sorcerors and sell the surplus?
Opt-out not required
No opt-out should be required. Just mandate that every person who has usable organs must offer them for donation on their death. Living people need organs; dead people do not. It is that simple.
Refusing to donate your organs is an act of selfishness beyond the grave, and every person who fails to donate usable organs should be held complicit in the death of a person awaiting transplant surgery.
They could start
by allowing dead donors as well as living ones to designate the recipients of their organs. If we're allowed to take our organs to the grave or the pyre, which helps no-one, then we should be allowed to help someone we know while giving the leftovers to the state.
i was recently talking with someone in the medical profession. they told me that my family can overrule my own donor card! wtf? i say make it an opt-out scheme. if i did why do i care what happens to my organs? i really cannot see any problems apart from the obvious religious nutter comments!
of course there is a simple method...
dr to corpse:
"stick your hand up if you dont want to be in our organ donor system"
"organs and tissues for transplantation don't last that long after the clinical death of the host and that this opens up a very short window of opportunity for the transplantation procedure."
That's true, which is why they are not taken from the donor (who is on life support) until the last possible moment. Life support gives you a bigger window.
"How does one address things like tissue rejection testing with such little time?"
You don't. I believe that transplants match donor/recipient blood type only, not the myriad of other tissue types: you'd never get a match if you tried to do that. Anti-rejection drugs are used to make imperfect tissue matches work.
"Right now, family members are allowed to override a person's wishes that their organs be transplanted. This is wrong."
I agree it is "wrong", but it is perfectly understandable in the circumstances. It is probably best addressed by having more transplant coordinators (as in Spain) rather than telling devastated relatives that you are going to take their loved one's organs regardless of their wishes.
Opt out? No way!
I am an organ donor because it is *MY* choice.
It is *MY* choice what happens with my body, the State does not have a right to tell me that it can take my organs because "well you don't need them any more, do you?"
I suggest reading some Larry Niven to see where that sort of thing leads.
.. seems a good place to start harvesting human-like organs, and as we don't do brain transplants yet no one human would be affected if we just took everything we found there. ;)
The MEPs have volunteered to donate their brains...
...which are highly sought after since they are hardly ever used !! However, recent studies have found an undesirable side effect that the recipients have been padding their expenses after receiving the organ(s) !! Furthermore, they found a disturbing tendency among the recipients to be economical with the truth !!
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