Do you remember the last time you went to the DMV to renew or update your driver’s license? Chances are, you were able to check a box indicating that you would be willing to ‘participate’ in the organ donation program – in the event (Heaven forbid) you were involved in a fatal accident.
However, in a newly proposed bill, New York lawmakers are now suggesting that adults in the state should be automatically be enrolled in the organ donation program and subjected to organ harvesting by default.
Organ donation legal proposal: Most people remain uninformed about a hidden agenda
Effectively, this new bill would force people to opt “out” rather than opt in for organ donation.
To give benefit of the doubt for a moment, let’s assume there may be some good intentions here. After all, there are reportedly more than 9,000 New Yorkers currently on the organ transplant list, and close to 500 people die every year waiting for an organ.
The lawmakers’ argument? Automatically enrolling people into the organ donation program will increase the available number of donors and thereby save more lives. They also reassure constituents that only people aged 18 and up will be registered under the proposed opt out system.
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As a matter of principle, however, this proposed bill deeply concerns us. Just think about it: if so many people don’t even notice the organ donation check box when filling out DMV forms in the first place, then think of the potential ethical dilemma this can cause:
By not realizing they are automatically listed as organ donors, people may well up having their organs harvested following their deaths – whether they would have knowingly consented to it before their demise.
We’re also concerned that this sets up a dangerous precedence in a world where overly zealous doctors and surgeons are already harvesting organs before patients are legally dead. And, if this isn’t shocking enough, the sad reality is that body snatching and human trafficking is a legitimate concern in many parts of the world – including right here in the United States.
These recent stories will shock you: Organ harvesting and body snatching is not some underground science fiction story
About a decade ago, stunning news broke about a couple who filed a wrongful death suit against the Hamot Medical Center in northwestern Pennsylvannia as well as The Center Organ Recovery & Education (CORE).
In their suit, the Ohio parents claim that their son’s death was induced when doctors administered medications and removed his breathing tube. To add insult to injury, the parents state that their son was never formally declared brain dead by the time surgeons began the organ harvesting.
It’s a stunning headline that has dubious company. All around the world, stories abound about children being trafficked, organs sold on the black market, and patients waking up just before their own organs are harvested.
What are all these organs and tissues being harvested for, anyway? Regardless of the answer, the proposed legislation in New York seems to take us precariously close to opening a dangerous door.
Sources for this article include: