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Organ Donation: Opt In or Opt Out?

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100 replies to this topic

#31
Dylan.

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I've already said that I personally am an organ donor. That said, and to put it bluntly, my body is my body. When dealing with something like the handling of a body after death, the assumption should be on the side of the person wanting their body left intact. Think of it this way--it's a lot easier to take organs out of someone's body because you had explicit consent in the first place than it is to reattach them because you took them out without consent.

Most things that can help people, I'm all for having them as the default. When dealing with something so sensitive as the handling of a person's body after death, the assumption has to be that that person wants their body left intact for burial unless they (or a family member) tell you otherwise.

See, to me, the problem here is that so many people who might be willing to donate, don't because they don't think about it. Most people you ask say that. And yet, there is a huge shortage of organs. Why? Because nobody takes the time to go opt-in. So, how do we fix THAT problem?

#32
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See, to me, the problem here is that so many people who might be willing to donate, don't because they don't think about it. Most people you ask say that. And yet, there is a huge shortage of organs. Why? Because nobody takes the time to go opt-in. So, how do we fix THAT problem?

I don't know. Frankly, that's a problem for all you do-gooders of the world to go solve. Maybe something as simple as asking when people get their driver's license if they want to donate, then having them put one extra signature on that one extra piece of paper?

I can't answer for solutions to the problem; all I can say is that it is, to me, wrong to go to a "take organs first, ask questions later" policy. Keep in mind that I'm an extreme social libertarian, though.

#33
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I can't answer for solutions to the problem; all I can say is that it is, to me, wrong to go to a "take organs first, ask questions later" policy. Keep in mind that I'm an extreme social libertarian, though.


You shouldn't have to opt-in to give something you don't need, that will rot in the ground, to someone whose life it could save. If you're enough of a dick to decide you don't want to help people, you should have to make the extra effort, not have the easier choice.

#34
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Ugh I'm not sure about donating my organs...can you still donate your body to a body farm if you decide to donate your organs?

#35
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You shouldn't have to opt-in to give something you don't need, that will rot in the ground, to someone whose life it could save. If you're enough of a dick to decide you don't want to help people, you should have to make the extra effort, not have the easier choice.

How is someone whose religious beliefs require them to be buried intact a dick? Shit, how is someone who wants to keep their body inside them when they go into the ground a dick at all? I'm sure no one sits there going, "Hmmm, I wonder how many people I can take with me by not donating my organs...". Some people just flat-out aren't comfortable with the idea of being "parted out" after death, and that's perfectly reasonable. Once again, their body, their choice.

My choice is to donate my organs after death, and it took me all of thirty seconds to tell the woman at the DMV that I wanted to indicate that on my record. Most hospitals will even take a family member at their word if the family member says you gave them the ok to donate your organs. Other people would choose differently, and it's their right to do so.

When you're dealing with the treatment of the body after death, something which may not mean much to you or me but means the world to other people, you have to, HAVE TO assume that their wish is to be buried intact unless they or a family member have specifically indicated otherwise. Like I said, it's much easier to pull organs out than it is to put them back in.

The only "opt-out"-ish policy I'd be ok with is making "Would you like to be an organ donor?" a mandatory question on driver's license paperwork. If you don't check "yes" or "no", you don't get your plastic. Easy as that. I would not, under any circumstances, be ok with a system that assumes everyone wants to be an organ donor unless they're on record as preferring otherwise.

#36
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Why do we have to assume that? We should be assuming their wish is to have all useful matter from their body used to save other human beings. If it's important to them that it's not, they can make that choice. They're dead. Whether their body is intact or not doesn't make a damn bit of difference, whatever they might believe. And I'm not suggesting there be no way of opting out, I just think the people who are determined to make that choice should have a slightly more difficult time than someone who isn't ridiculous.

#37
Tre's Busted Drumkit

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Why do we have to assume that?

Like I said, it's much easier to pull organs out than it is to put them back in.



#38
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Ugh I'm not sure about donating my organs...can you still donate your body to a body farm if you decide to donate your organs?


Why are you not sure?

#39
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That's not an explanation. If they haven't taken the time to indicate how important it was to them that their body remain intact, it clearly wasn't that important to them, and their organs should be used to save other people who aren't dead.

#40
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Why are you not sure?


Because I want to be able to donate my body to a body farm and if I can't do that after donating organs...I don't know...I have nothing against donating I just would like to donate my body to a body farm...oh well. It won't really matter once I'm dead and have no say so for that matter they can do whatever the fuck they feel like doing with my remains and such.

#41
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That's not an explanation. If they haven't taken the time to indicate how important it was to them that their body remain intact, it clearly wasn't that important to them, and their organs should be used to save other people who aren't dead.

You said it yourself. Very few people actually do take the time to opt-in. I've proposed a very reasonable solution--make preference a mandatory question on driver's license applications, or even on federal tax returns. Everybody touches one of those two documents at some point in their life.

What I would object to is a system that assumes that everyone wants their body parted out. Even if we put the right-and-wrong of donation itself (which we seem to be in agreement on) and the disagreement on whether doctors should make assumptions about the handling of the deceased's body, look at this from the purely practical standpoint. Would you, as an ER doctor, want to deal with multiple malpractice lawsuits each year because you took someone's organs out--as your government has instructed you to do--then the family went ape-shit because the deceased had told them that he/she wanted to be buried intact?

Maybe the term "opt-out" just raises my blood temperature to a warm simmer--too many middle-aged hands in my balls shortly after hearing those words--but the idea of requiring someone to opt-out of donation feels roughly the same to me as the government telling me what was going to happen to my body after death. The government's already got its filthy hands all over enough of my life as-is, I'd prefer they not get their hands into my death.

#42
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Maybe the term "opt-out" just raises my blood temperature to a warm simmer--too many middle-aged hands in my balls shortly after hearing those words--but the idea of requiring someone to opt-out of donation feels roughly the same to me as the government telling me what was going to happen to my body after death. The government's already got its filthy hands all over enough of my life as-is, I'd prefer they not get their hands into my death.


See, that's ridiculous. I understand you not wanting to deal with shit like that when you're alive, because it affects you. Why the hell would you care when you're dead? You're fucking dead, why does it matter anymore? It's stupid, and it's selfish. Yes, it's people's right to be stupid and selfish, but I don't see why we should make it easy for them. Having said that, I think your mandatory question proposal is the approach to this that is most likely to work, so I'd support that.

#43
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See, that's ridiculous. I understand you not wanting to deal with shit like that when you're alive, because it affects you. Why the hell would you care when you're dead? You're fucking dead, why does it matter anymore? It's stupid, and it's selfish. Yes, it's people's right to be stupid and selfish, but I don't see why we should make it easy for them. Having said that, I think your mandatory question proposal is the approach to this that is most likely to work, so I'd support that.

Yeah, I'm with Alex on this one. As John said above, I take a utilitarian point of view, and I don't think that it is a ridiculous notion to ask for sacrifice on the part of a few for the happiness of the many. Do I think that as a society we should mandate organ donation? No, of course not. People have a right to their religious beliefs, even if the majority of the country disagrees with them. But, as Alex said, most people who have no problem with organ donation just don't opt-in. We're talking about saving lives, in exchange for a minor inconvenience for those who don't want to donate. Seems like a reasonable transaction.

#44
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See, that's ridiculous. I understand you not wanting to deal with shit like that when you're alive, because it affects you. Why the hell would you care when you're dead? You're fucking dead, why does it matter anymore? It's stupid, and it's selfish. Yes, it's people's right to be stupid and selfish, but I don't see why we should make it easy for them.

Because the default option should respect the individual. The option that shows the most respect to the individual is to assume that they want to be buried intact.

Should doctors assume that all women want their fetuses aborted unless the woman says otherwise? Should teachers assume that children are going to spend their entire lives on welfare unless the parent opts otherwise? Should police be allowed to assume illegal activity is going on and search whoever they want, wherever they want to do it and whenever they feel like it?

No. None of those options show respect to the individual. Doctors assume that women want to carry babies to term unless told otherwise. Teachers (theoretically) assume all the kids in their class will be going on to college someday, and need to be prepared accordingly. And even if most police officers do assume the worst of everyone, laws are written to force them to act as if they assume the best until given reason to believe otherwise.

I've said it before and I'll say it one last time here: I am 100% against switching the default organ donation option to "opt-in" for both ideological and practical purposes. If the question, "Would you like to be an organ donor?" appeared on drivers license applications as a mandatory field (i.e., no plastic without it), or even on federal income tax documents where a failure to answer would result in a failure to send your refund, then that's fine by me. Instead of pushing the option that most-heavily restricts my right to do whatever the fuck I want to with my corpse, why not instead address the question of, "How do we get more people to opt in?"

In my mind, forcing people to give an answer or give up their license and/or tax return is not too much to ask, and is a far better solution--both in terms of civil liberties and practical application--than switching the default from "opt-out" to "opt-in".

#45
captain peroxide

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All of those analogies are terrible, because none of the people in your examples are dead.

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#46
Tre's Busted Drumkit

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Ok, fine. Doctors don't assume that I want to be skullfucked by Ron Jeremy after I expire. Is that better? :P

#47
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Not really, because that wouldn't make anyone's life better, except maybe Ron Jeremy's. If being skullfucked by Mr. Jeremy would save multiple lives, then I'd be fine with doctors assuming that.

Our society idolizes selfishness by equating it with personal liberty.
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#48
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Our society idolizes selfishness by equating it with personal liberty.

You still haven't addressed my idea. Make it a mandatory question on driver's license applications. Or, if you want a federal database, make it mandatory on income tax returns. The end result is the same as what you're pursuing: more people sign up to donate their organs. The difference is that instead of pissing off well over half of the country by saying, "Oh, by the way, unless you stand in line for two hours at the DMV, we're going to take your organs when you die," you're making it one additional check mark or signature on something people are doing anyway. And since everyone is forced to pick yes or no, the default for that tiny segment of the population that wouldn't be reached could remain no, therefore accomplishing the end goal of getting more organs donated without further shoving the government's will down everyone's throats.

#49
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I don't really understand the wanting your body to remain intact thing. To be frank no one's body is going to remain intact, it's going to be eaten by various organisms and rot away into the ground. In fact if you donate your organs part of your body will remain intact for longer! And then eventually the same thing will happen to it. I don't get how someone can think about what's actually going to happen to their body after it's buried and still find the idea of donating their organs so much more unpleasant in comparison.

#50
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For a lot of people, it's a deep-rooted cultural thing. For others, it's as simple as wanting their body to be viewed as the whole object it is, not parted out like broken-down car. Even as the worms chew away at you, or as your body is cremated, it's your whole body undergoing that process--not your body minus some/most organs.

#51
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I don't really understand the wanting your body to remain intact thing. To be frank no one's body is going to remain intact, it's going to be eaten by various organisms and rot away into the ground. In fact if you donate your organs part of your body will remain intact for longer! And then eventually the same thing will happen to it. I don't get how someone can think about what's actually going to happen to their body after it's buried and still find the idea of donating their organs so much more unpleasant in comparison.

I feel this way as well. If anything, allowing your organs to be donated means that your body will exist longer. And thanks to this thread, I realized that I hadn't registered yet, so I signed up online. Every day when I get in a car, there's a pretty good chance I'll die, so why gamble with someone else's life?

#52
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Just to reiterate, I am an organ donor, and I encourage everyone to sign up and become one. I also, however, respect the rights of those who, for whatever reason, want to be buried/cremated intact.

#53
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You still haven't addressed my idea. Make it a mandatory question on driver's license applications. Or, if you want a federal database, make it mandatory on income tax returns. The end result is the same as what you're pursuing: more people sign up to donate their organs. The difference is that instead of pissing off well over half of the country by saying, "Oh, by the way, unless you stand in line for two hours at the DMV, we're going to take your organs when you die," you're making it one additional check mark or signature on something people are doing anyway. And since everyone is forced to pick yes or no, the default for that tiny segment of the population that wouldn't be reached could remain no, therefore accomplishing the end goal of getting more organs donated without further shoving the government's will down everyone's throats.


Dude, I totally did :lol: A couple of posts back, I said that was the most likely outcome of a reform on donor legislation, and I'd support your idea.

For a lot of people, it's a deep-rooted cultural thing. For others, it's as simple as wanting their body to be viewed as the whole object it is, not parted out like broken-down car. Even as the worms chew away at you, or as your body is cremated, it's your whole body undergoing that process--not your body minus some/most organs.


Well that, like so many deep-rooted cultural things, is stupid and completely irrational.

Just to reiterate, I am an organ donor, and I encourage everyone to sign up and become one. I also, however, respect the rights of those who, for whatever reason, want to be buried/cremated intact.


I respect those rights, I just don't think it should be easier for them than the people who actually want to do something useful with their bodies after they die.

#54
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Because I want to be able to donate my body to a body farm and if I can't do that after donating organs...I don't know...I have nothing against donating I just would like to donate my body to a body farm...oh well. It won't really matter once I'm dead and have no say so for that matter they can do whatever the fuck they feel like doing with my remains and such.


Excuse my ignorance, but what's a body farm?

#55
Shoot That Fucker Down

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I'm a donor.

My organs have no purpose for me after I'm dead, tear them out of me immediately.
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#56
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Totally off topic, but I did read something rather macabre the other day about what they do with artificial hips/knees etc before your cremated/buried.

#57
Shoot That Fucker Down

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Totally off topic, but I did read something rather macabre the other day about what they do with artificial hips/knees etc before your cremated/buried.


Well....what do they do? feed them to their pets or something?

#58
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Well....what do they do? feed them to their pets or something?


Well... no. But being a bit blonde (occasionally) I am thought they got melted down with you... I didn't realise they dug 'em out before they did it. I just have this creepy image of a landfill site somewhere with lots of bits of plastic bodies...

#59
captain peroxide

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Fuck it, re-use those too. They have a much better shelf-life than organic matter, and steel / plastic are finite resources.

#60
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Fuck it, re-use those too. They have a much better shelf-life than organic matter, and steel / plastic are finite resources.


I don't know why. But somehow that creeps me out more than re-using organs.



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