Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

All of me, why not take all of me...

Sir Liam Donaldson, England's Chief Medical Officer, wants to move to an opt-out system of organ donation where the presumption is that people are willing to donate organs after death. Such systems are already used in many European countries. His Scottish counterpart Harry Burns, on the other hand, rejected the idea, saying that there was no evidence that the Scottish public would support such a move.


May I say, right here, right now, that I think it would be a tremendous idea, and I know many Scottish people who feel the same way. Yes, some people have strong feelings about what happens to their bodies after death; but those are the people who would make damned sure they opted out of donation (in the same way that I made damned sure I opted in - and carry two donor cards to make them easier to find). The people who would be affected by this change are the huge mass of people who don't care/can't be bothered/haven't got round to filling out a card. Fine: if they don't care, they don't care. Excuse me while I whip out your kidneys/liver/heart/lungs/corneas and anything else that might be useful. Ta.

Of course, the people who will be most affected by such a change will be the thousands who will live who would otherwise die for the lack of an organ donor. I bet that's a section of the Scottish public Harry Burns didn't consider: sick people. People who might get sick. People with sick children. People with sick partners. People whose partners or children might get sick. But hey, why would he care about sick people: he's the Scottish Health Minister, so only cares about healthy people. And especially the ones who are too stupid or apathetic to fill out an opt-out form; the ones who'd rather sit on their backsides and whinge until they get their innards harvested, whereupon their equally useless relatives will take up the whine. Do you detect any sympathy here? (Hint: I did own up a few posts back to having a low tolerance of stupidity.)

Perhaps he thinks only stupid people would vote for him. And perhaps he's right. I'd certainly vote for a Health Minister with a working brain and a working conscience in preference to the Burns Muppet.

Anyway. Readers, in whatever country you may be. Get yourself added to the Organ Donor register now. (The link is to the UK scheme, but whether you're in Belgium, Germany, Namibia or wherever, there is likely to be some scheme available to you.) Carry a donor card. And do CARRY it; it's no use sitting at home. Don't put it off: you could get run over tomorrow, or have a heart attack.


At 18 July, 2007 15:18, Blogger JoeinVegas said...

I always think of Monty's Meaning of Life sketch about the liver donation.
Over here it's a check mark on our drivers license - couldn't be easier for most (come on, everybody here has a DL, need it to cash checks and use your credit card) but still very few check the box. I did.

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