Social Question

philosopher's avatar

A New York state Senator wants to pass legislation that would force people to donate their organs. Do you think such a bill would endanger our civil liberties?

Asked by philosopher (9152points) April 28th, 2010

This is the USA. Last time I checked we live in a Democracy.
This jerk should be told he is not G-d.
I think when I am dead; my husband has the right to make such a decision.
If this passed you would actually have to sign something saying you are unwilling to donate your organs. Otherwise upon death they belong to the government.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

160 Answers

TexasDude's avatar

They can have my organs.

when they pry them from my cold, dead… uhh.. hands!

Seriously though, this is a stupid law.
It sets a precedent for state ownership of your body and it’s a slippery slope from there. Just imagine if the state decided they had ownership of a woman’s uterus and whatever she does with it?

also, we aren’t a democracy. We are a constitutional representative republic… just a minor note

Cartman's avatar

I think is sounds swell! The reasons for donating your organs are far more compelling than hanging on to them after you stopped using them. People are inherently reluctant to take action and therefore making people donors by default seem far more logic, and fair, than the other way round. It will save lives. It’s the right thing to do.

Taciturnu's avatar

I’m a little torn.

My heart wants to say yes, it should be enforced. People die everyday waiting on transplant lists or seeking sub-par healthcare on the black market, and this would certainly lower those rates. If people do not want to have their organs donated for religious or personal reasons, this does give them a way out of it, too.

My mind says it does not keep in tune with the rest of America’s values. So no, I don’t think it should pass for that reason alone.

RocketSquid's avatar

I understand the idea, and I think a mandatory organ donation after death would be a great way to shorten the waiting list for those who still need organs (I know I won’t be using them much after I’m dead). I personally think that it would be a great idea in the long run as long as you can opt out easily. (Granted, I’m already planning on donating my body to science after I’m dead anyway, so this really doesn’t effect me).

However, you’re absolutely right. No one should be able to say that you belong to the state after death, and trying to sneak in legislation that says so is basically like the government trying to steal your corpse from your family. It should be a decision you make on your own.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

they can have my organs after I’m dead. I’m okay with this

DominicX's avatar

Don’t agree with this. If you want more people to be organ donors, then educate them on why they should be. But you shouldn’t be forced to commit to giving up your body like that. It should always be a choice. If someone doesn’t want to be an organ donor, that’s up to them.

Fly's avatar

While I think that more people should become organ donors, this just doesn’t seem right. The government would literally own a piece or several pieces of you unless you opted out of it, which I assume is a long process filled with forms and small print.

chyna's avatar

Definition of donate: 1. To present as a gift to a fund or cause; contribute. (online dictionary)
Not to be forced.

ragingloli's avatar

You would still have the ability to opt out, so it still is your own decision.
The only problem I can see is that doctors might be less inclined to save your life and instead let you die to harvest your organs.

TexasDude's avatar

@ragingloli, your second point is a very good one.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

It’s not a mandatory organ donation bill. Right now, the presumption is that a person would not donate their organs unless they say otherwise. The bill would just reverse that.

ragingloli's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard
As a contra to that point, the lawsuits brought about by relatives of the deceased , especially in the US with the astronomical sums involved and the prospect of jail time and loss of medical license would certainly be enough to discourage such behaviour.

TexasDude's avatar

@ragingloli, also a good point, assuming there was full disclosure to the families that the organs had indeed been harvested.

WestRiverrat's avatar

I am signed up as an organ donor, I encourage everyone to become one. However, I am against forcing people to become one.

There are several religions that prohibit organ donation. I think you would violate the seperation of church/state clause with this legislation.

Kraigmo's avatar

To put the egos of the dead above saving more lives is highly misguided, if one wants to end suffering.

Perhaps one cares more about laws and rights to their property and their flesh and all that, and one wants to preserve that right beyond the grave. Okay, if that’s the goal, then so be it.

But if you really want to end a lot of suffering, without causing any real pain (other than egotistical pain) to anyone, then one would favor a law that requires an opt-out, rather than an opt-in.

The problem with opt-in is the fact most people are too lazy, scared, or superstitious to want to donate their organs. Sometimes they’re just too lazy to sign the little form.

An opt-out law would fix all that. People would have to sign a form to KEEP their organs beyond death. Thousands of really good people could be saved.

We’re still a toddler-minded civilization till that happens.

thriftymaid's avatar

One more reason to stay out of NY

Jeruba's avatar

People are not entitled to the use of the body of another, whether living or dead.

Like @WestRiverrat, I have a “donor” sticker on my driver’s license. I put it there voluntarily. I oppose the idea of compelling organ donation. To me it is not a religious matter but an issue of boundaries and limitations of scope of authority.

Kayak8's avatar

“Good luck with whoever gets my organs, this heart simply will not beat in the body of a homophobic bigot.’

And I can see that becoming the exact problem (or solution depending on how you look at things). I can see some people specifying who can get their organs and who can’t or from whom they wish to receive organs and an entirely new form of lawyering to draft the documents to reinforce people’s bigotry. The alternative is a few Black/GLBT/Hispanic hearts beating in white bodies for people to rethink many of their bigoted ideas.

laureth's avatar

First, let me say I already have signed up as an organ donor. If I don’t need them, someone else does.

That said, isn’t this the very flower of the concept of “from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs?”

Do the dead have civil liberties?

philosopher's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard
Those are my thoughts.
This Senator’s daughter needed a Transplant.
In my experience wealthy people come first and everyone else dies on the waiting list.
No one has told us how to opt out.
They do not own my body.
Sounds like this senator thinks this a dictatorship.
People should decide on their own..

Rangie's avatar

I can just see it now. Jim, we have to take some time and go down and opt out of that body snatching Senator. Okay Margaret, we will try to do it next week.
Funeral services for Margaret will be held tomorrow at the funeral home, however there will be no body for viewing, as she is the property of the State of New York.
Right, never happen. Glad I don’t live there. Hurry, everybody run, run out of New York.

Kayak8's avatar

Golly, what if you are just visiting NY and have the misfortune to croak?

Jeruba's avatar

@Kayak8.

The alternative is a few Black/GLBT/Hispanic hearts beating in white bodies for people to rethink many of their bigoted ideas.

If I read you correctly, you are saying that white people are bigoted and that their bias is against Black, GLBT, and Hispanic people.

Now, there’s an unbiased statement, all right. Aren’t you calling out all white people for the sins of a few? And since when is GLBT a race?

If this is not what you’re saying, please set me straight.

Kayak8's avatar

@Jeruba I am not necessarily intending that anyone is more bigoted than anyone else. I am only saying that if a person is a bigot and the only organ available is from someone representative of one or more of the groups that the person dislikes, I wonder how quickly they would resolve their bigotry when the alternative is death.

Jeruba's avatar

But you did put GLBT on one side of the equation and white on the other. A very strange opposition, if you ask me. Don’t you know any white GLBT people? I sure do.

Kayak8's avatar

@Jeruba I am one, in fact. You are correct that the example I used included race and I included GLBT as an example of individuals people discriminate against and that was confusing. Not my intention.

I am positing two possible outcomes should such a law be enacted and some of the potential unintended consequences: 1) people will enforce their bigotry by how they specify use of their organs and/or 2) people will resolve their bigotry when the only choice challenges their assumptions about difference.

wonderingwhy's avatar

I’m more than happy to give up my organs when I die, it’s not like I’ll be needing them. At the same time, if you or someone else doesn’t want to for any reason, I don’t see how anyone should have any in it. Forcing people to do what you think is right doesn’t make them do what’s right, it makes them do what they’re told often with great resentment and strife (if your lucky). If you want people to donate, convince them, don’t force them.

MissAusten's avatar

I don’t think it’s that big of a deal, if certain precautions are taken.

1. The process to opt-out should be very simple. People should be able to opt out completely, or partially. For example, I should be able to say that I am willing to donate organs, but not my entire body. I should also be able to say which organs I’d be willing to donate. For those who want to opt-out completely, they shouldn’t be required to state their reasons.

2. Minors should be exempt (and I can’t imagine they would try to do otherwise) with the parents or legal guardians making donor decisions at the time of death.

3. A system should be in place to prevent doctors from knowing ahead of time that a patient is a potential donor. I don’t think there’s much risk for abuse for the reasons @ragingloli stated, but donor status should only be revealed at the time of death (or brain death). I don’t know they’d manage that and keep the information secure, however.

4. People should be required to update their donor status every so often, such as when they renew their driver’s license. At that time, they can reconsider opting out, or changing their donor wishes.

I haven’t read anything about this potential law other than the comments here, so maybe these things have already been addressed. If so, I would not have a problem with it. I can see how others would, and I can also see the potential for taking advantage of the system. I once read a book about the black market for human body parts, and the money involved was incredible. Donated organs and body parts are used for so much more than just helping sick people. They are used for medical research, used as crash test dummies, used by the Army to test explosives, and used by medical supply companies to demonstrate and test new surgical equipment. Parts of bodies are used for all kinds of other things as well. (This is the book I read, and it was very good.)

Right now, many people don’t sign up to donate organs because they don’t think of it. Who knows how many people die waiting for organs that they will never receive because someone never got around to becoming a donor, and their relatives were unsure of their wishes?

philosopher's avatar

@Rangie
That was my point humans are not the property of the state or country. Cutting someone open is against some religions. Some religions do not allow autopsies.

gorillapaws's avatar

This is a BRILLIANT TED TALK by Dan Ariely. He gets into organ donation about 5 minutes into it, but the whole thing is worth watching.

WestRiverrat's avatar

China has made mandatory donors out of its death row inmates. Now instead of getting one to the back of the head, the organ harvesting van comes around and dissects the convict when someone needing his/her organs is a match.

YARNLADY's avatar

The interpretation stated in this question is very bizarre. The proposal is to assume everyone wants to donate their organs when they die unless they carry a Do Not Donor card. This is simply reversing the current policy that you must carry a Donor card in order to allow your organs to be donated.

Anyone who does not want to can simply carry a card. There is no ‘forcing’ involved.

philosopher's avatar

@YARNLADY
It should be up to individuals and their families upon death.
They hope people will forget to opt out.
I feel the state does not own me or my body.

plethora's avatar

@YARNLADY That is an incredibly naive perspective. You are very trusting of human nature. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Give the state the right to harvest organs and the very next bill in congress will be a limit on the terms of “opting out”.

gorillapaws's avatar

@plethora and your conspiracy-theory centric delusional mistrust of government is embarrassingly presumptive. I can promise that there will always be a way to opt-out. It’s in our constitution.

Rangie's avatar

@YARNLADY And what if you forget your card? And you are in an auto accident and die. “Property of the State of New York”

plethora's avatar

@gorillapaws conspiracy-theory centric delusional mistrust of government…and where did you come up with all that? I mistrust government only because it is made up of people and I have very little faith in good intentions. There is no mention, to my knowledge, of opting out of organ harvesting in the constitution.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Rangie I think it should be part of the Driver’s license / medical records of the person, but I wholeheartedly agree with assuming yes, unless they want to opt-out (which should be very easy to do).

@plethora Our constitution guarantees the freedom of religion (which could easily be construed to include this) not to mention Roe v. Wade which acknowledges a personal privacy and dominion over our person.

Rangie's avatar

Then what will happen if a woman has a miscarriage or an abortion, or dies in an accident while pregnant.? Will NY claim the babies organs too?

gorillapaws's avatar

@Rangie It’s not a baby, it’s a fetus, and I doubt they’d be good for anything since it’s not fully developed.

Rangie's avatar

@gorillapaws 6, 7, or 8 month is a baby, and can survive out of the womb.

Rangie's avatar

Why should anybody have to opt out of anything. If you want to, YOU can opt in. This is just another right being taken away. People there are more coming.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Rangie watch the movie I linked above. Doing it this way can save thousands of lives (and based on some of the other questions you’ve participated in, that’s important to you), and if anyone doesn’t want to participate they can easily opt-out. I think the slight inconvenience is far outweighed by the benefit to society.

Rangie's avatar

@gorillapaws I am sorry gorillapaws, but the idea of someone telling an entire city of people what they have to do with their body is just wrong. There are many reason, including religion, that this is just not right.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Rangie if you had a loved-one who could easily be saved with an organ transplant who you had to watch suffer and die because of friction in the system, I think your position might be different. Again you’re not forced to do anything you don’t want to do with your body, anyone can opt out. Not to mention it would help the economy… which should be important to a conservative like yourself.

plethora's avatar

@gorillapaws No discussion needed. I just need to be sure not to vote for those who believe as you do. As for religion, this has nothing to do with religion whatsoever. And it’s a stretch to apply Roe vs Wade here. And now you want to define what is human and what is not. Rather messy don’t you think?

Rangie's avatar

@gorillapaws Like someone else said, what if you are visiting the state. Will you have to get some kind of visa papers to prove you are not a NY resident.
Yes, I understand what you are saying about the loved-one. And with proper education I am sure more people would donate their parts. And what kind of rules will they have with this opt out. I am sure they can twist that as well. If you give those politicians an inch, they will go God know how far to get their name in the history books. I myself might be in a position for a transplant one day, but I don’t want an error to occur and wind up with parts from someone that did not intend it. I am not against donors, I just think it should always be voluntary. You liberals say women have a right to choice, well I also want a right to not be forced to choose.

gorillapaws's avatar

@plethora where did I define what is/isn’t human?

Rangie's avatar

@gorillapaws I believe plethora is referring to the remark about It’s not a baby, it’s a fetus, and I doubt they’d be good for anything since it’s not fully developed.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Rangie WATCH THE MOVIE, skip to 5-minutes in. ” I also want a right to not be forced to choose.” That makes no sense, not choosing IS ACTUALLY CHOOSING, it’s just choosing not to help out those that are suffering. This is assuming people will automatically want to help out their fellow citizen unless they choose otherwise. Just like assuming that if your neighbor is drowning in the lake, you would most likely try to help as opposed to walking away.

Education campaigns are incredibly expensive and not particularly effective. This is very effective, and doesn’t force anyone to do anything they don’t want to do. People from out of state should be treated according to their state’s organ donation laws.

As to the baby/fetus thing, that has nothing to do with what is/isn’t human. A fetus is human, it just isn’t a baby because it’s not yet born. Any dictionary can clarify that for those that are confused.

Rangie's avatar

@gorillapaws I understand it isn’t a baby yet, but there are many reasons they would want that fetus. Stem cells, other organs, It they can grow a baby in a petri dish, they can assist an organ, I feel sure.
I will watch your movie, but please don’t twist my words.
Not choosing is not actually choosing. Not choosing is nothing. Choosing would be donating, which any one of us may do. Of course I would help a drowning person, and indeed did save at least 3 children from drowning. But, I want to be the one that make that choice.
I see too many problems with this proposed law. And I for one would vote against it. Somethings are not always about money. education, education.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Rangie if you walked away from a drowning child would you say you made “no choice” or your chose NOT to help?

Rangie's avatar

@gorillapaws If I walked away from a drowning child I would say I made a choice. However, If a child is drowning on the other side of town, I would not be forced to make a choice.

Rangie's avatar

@gorillapaws Mr. gorillapaws, I appreciate your stand and dedication to it. I also appreciate the other side of this issue. I don’t think you and I will exactly come together on this issue.

plethora's avatar

I’m voting for @Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard I’ve already committed to his campaign…..first post on this thread.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Rangie But if you’re deliberately avoiding that side of town where you know there’s a drowning child then you are making a choice. I’m just surprised someone who’s so passionate about Americans looking after each other like you were on your question about domestic poverty would have such a hard time with a measure that doesn’t require anyone to do anything they don’t want to do while at the same time saving thousands of lives, radically improving their quality of life, etc.

Right now the assumption is that people wouldn’t want to help save that person from drowning, and this law simply turns that around and states that we assume most people would rather help unless they say otherwise (which is perfectly ok and easy to do). I don’t think the burden is particularly great for those that want to opt out, and when weighed against the lives it will save and improve it seems petty.

We have people register for the draft, but are able to opt-out if it violates their religious beliefs, we have implied consent to drinking and driving tests, there are all kinds of implicit assumptions the state makes on our behalf. Even things like eminent domain require us to make personal sacrifices for the greater benefit of our community. And here nobody has to do anything they don’t want to, so I really don’t see why people are getting upset.

plethora's avatar

@gorillapaws See first post by @Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard The man says all that needs to be said. You’re twisting the act of giving freely with the act of having something taken from you and justifying it by playing the “greater good”. You can justify almost any heinous act with that.

Rangie's avatar

@gorillapaws Yes, I do care about people and quality of life. What I do about it should be my decision. As I do everyday when I help the less fortunate acquire goods they need. But, nobody is telling me to do it. The issue is not whether to help with donating your body parts or not. The issue is making a law. What next? There are way too many intrusions now as it is. It is about our freedoms.

plethora's avatar

eminent domain cases are contested all the time….not a good example.

gorillapaws's avatar

All this law does is set the default setting from people not wanting to help each other to assuming they do want to help. Anyone is free to change the default if they want to, nobody has do do anything they don’t want to do.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@gorillapaws…We have people register for the draft, but are able to opt-out if it violates their religious beliefs…

Not totally true. My uncle was declared a concientous objector in Vietnam. He still was drafted and spent 2 tours in Vietnam as a Navy Corpsman assigned to the USMC. It can get you out of carrying a weapon but it doesn’t automatically get you out of combat.

gorillapaws's avatar

@WestRiverrat I didn’t realize that, thanks for enlightening me.

Rangie's avatar

@gorillapaws I don’t believe in eminent domain. It in many cases, is legal theft. It use to be only for right of ways for highways, Now it is being used for many things. Things like more land for developers, so the city can make more money from the developer and tax dollars from the new home owners. What next? That is what I am talking about with this crazy donor law. What next?

gorillapaws's avatar

@Rangie it’s like eminent domain with the ability to opt-out if you don’t want to participate, not exactly the same thing. I mentioned it because there is a legal precedent for the Government to make decisions that benefit the greater good at the expense of individuals. This law doesn’t even go that far since nobody is forced to do anything they don’t want to do.

thriftymaid's avatar

I expect a lawsuit may nullify such a law on public policy grounds.

Rangie's avatar

@gorillapaws But you never know. Things change once they become a law. I am not for more laws. The point I was making is applicable to this law as well. My brother in law lost his water well, that he spent money on his property to drill. A nearby school wanted the water and took it. Not only did they take it, they fenced a portion of his property off an now he can’t use the water or that part of the land. Eminent domain was not intended to be used that way. And one day they would say the donor law was not intended to used that way. No, no. I don’t like it.

plethora's avatar

@gorillapaws YET…..as I said earlier, you are working from a base of great faith in the goodness of the human heart. Per @Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard

“This is a stupid law.
It sets a precedent for state ownership of your body and it’s a slippery slope from there.”

You talk as if there is no real difference in the two positions. Opting out of ANYTHING is always more difficult than having the freedom to choose.

Rangie's avatar

@gorillapaws Socialism Government to make decisions that benefit the greater good at the expense of individuals. Not for me. Not by a long shot. There are ways to get things done without force.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Rangie “There are ways to get things done without force.” If you watched the movie you would realize that in the case of organ donation it’s very expensive and not particularly effective.

As for socialism, you could apply that argument to the right to abortion, grow marijuana, and other things… but then you’re a conservative so you probably only believe in limited government when it applies to what Fox News tells you.

@plethora The state doesn’t own anything, it simply assumes most people would rather have their organs save lives rather than become food for worms, unless they opt-out which they may freely do at any time they choose.

Rangie's avatar

@gorillapaws Why do you liberals alway have to bring in Fox news. Don’t you think we conservative listen to other things. How dare you assume you know where I get my news. You just don’t get it. You are pounding your head against a wall. I will make my decisions about my body and nobody will tell me otherwise. So Mr. Gorillapaws, I think you should go tell somebody that cares about socialism.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Rangie “I will make my decisions about my body and nobody will tell me otherwise.” and under this law you get to do exactly that!

You were the one that brought up socialism, and the reason I mentioned Fox News is because they’re famous for their slippery slope argument for big government turning into some totalitarian state that decides to do things like “Stem cells, other organs, It they can grow a baby in a petri dish, they can assist an organ, I feel sure.”

Rangie's avatar

@gorillapaws All you liberals jump on every conservative and accuse them of being puppets of the Fox News. I don’t like that all of you assume that none of the conservative people can think for themselves. Yes I did bring up socialism. Do you deny you would be just fine with that type of lifestyle?

Cartman's avatar

If you die and don’t have a will, do you get to bring your money with you to the grave?

When you die you your heirs inherit if you haven’t taken steps to change that. Why should organs be different? Really why? If you die, you can’t use them and if they are useful it’s a waste to throw them away in a grave or whatever. If you still want them after you are dead, take the proper steps to prepare for this. I don’t see the problem.

The default scenario shouldn’t be that you refrain from helping save lives should it?

gorillapaws's avatar

@Rangie I’m for Govenment run healthcare, education, military, police, firefighters etc., and oversight/regulation of some critical private industries, but I believe in private enterprise, and if the government ever completely bought out (not temporarily bailed out) the private sector, I’d be up in arms just like most every other American liberal.

Rangie's avatar

@Cartman I don’t consider my organs on the same level as money.
to, to, to, to, much government. end of story.

Rangie's avatar

@gorillapaws I am not for government run healthcare. I am for competition, the american way. I am not for the bail outs on any level. If they screwed up, let them fall.
So I think we have run the course on this subject, and I would like to get on with something else, if you don’t mind. At least we don’t disagree on everything. Thanks.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Rangie “I am not for the bail outs on any level. If they screwed up, let them fall.”

And when that sends us into an economic apocalypse the likes of which would make the great depression seem fun (which would have happened) and ended up costing the government even more in lost tax revenue, and FDIC insurance, the conservatives would be blaming Obama for ruining the American economy. Damned if you do, or damned if you don’t.

But we are off topic. I just didn’t want you to get away with such a profoundly stupid statement.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

If I’m not alive, then do what you want with my organs.
If I’m dead, what do I need my organs for?
If they can help someone else live just do it.
Don’‘t spend a week discussing it in court, if a life is on the line, just fucking do it.
All I ask is that you wait until I’m dead of natural causes..

Rangie's avatar

@gorillapaws I have tried to be nice to you all the way through this ridiculous law issue. But now you are getting a little fresh. I don’t happen to think my statement is profoundly stupid. And just because you of all people said so, doesn’t make it true. You are quite laughable when you don’t win. So just because you don’t have what it takes, to make someone think the way you do, you resort to calling their opinions profoundly stupid. Who you think you are anyway? I disagree with you. end of story. good night.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Rangie I have refrained from ad hominems throughout this entire discussion. Calling your statement profoundly stupid doesn’t mean I’m calling you stupid, many smart people are capable of making profoundly stupid statements like the one you made.

“You are quite laughable when you don’t win.”

There is no “winner” here. Merely a rational discussion on the pros/cons of this proposed legislation. I could care less if you agreed with me or not, I simply want to ensure that the position I take is clearly, accurately and articulately presented for others to evaluate.

If you want to let your irrational fear of some hypothetical nefarious socialist plot of the Obama administration taking over every aspect of your life (and unborn fetus organs) stand in your way of realizing the very genuine and tangible benefit of lives saved and improved that this law would produce, then by all means. I’m betting that many others reading this thread who may have been on the fence will have the clarity of intellect to appreciate the benefits.

Kraigmo's avatar

So I read this question here, gave my answer, then did my duty and went into background research of the other answers. And @gorillapaws posted a link to a TED talk that I went to. And that presentation was amazing!

In my original answer, I said that organ donation should be based on opt-out (which would result in automatic organ donation in most cases, obviously). I blamed the reason people do not choose to donate as “the fact most people are too lazy, scared, or superstitious to want to donate their organs. Sometimes they’re just too lazy to sign the little form.”

Dan Ariely, in the link Gorillapaws posted, said the reason is ”...because we care, it’s difficult and it’s complex; and it’s so complex that we don’t know what to do. And because we have no idea what to do, we just pick whatever it was that is chosen for us”
(He’s explaining why people skip the opt-in-to-donate portion of their drivers licenses in states that have that; and comparing that to the fact that people skip the opt-out-to-donate box in European countries where that is available).

Meaning: Most probably it would be good public policy to automatically harvest organs upon a person’s death unless they opt-out to that previously.

And to the people who don’t like government taking rights away: I don’t like heavy handed governments, either! I don’t want to touch your life in any way whatsoever, so long as you abide by the human code of Do No Harm.

But… governments are here for 2 reasons: Defense and Making Logical Things Easier that are harder done without an organizing single force.

Some people may “feel like” its better for them to drive on the wrong side of the road. So should they be allowed to do so if they’re good at it?

Or what if there’s a severe drought and many are starving of thirst; And someone’s hard-earned personal property has a well on it that can quench the thirst of 10,000 people a month, but he refuses to tap it for no real reason, except “he feels like it”? Sure if it damages his living area, or threatens his own ability to drink, then he should be left alone. But if there’s no compelling reason? And he’s just being stubborn? Well at that point, civics and platitudes of property rights will (and should) go out the window, and someone’s gonna take over that mofo’s well.

Each situation is unique, and no logical course of action should be prevented due to fears of a precedent or a slippery slope.

The torture and pain people go through when their loved ones die takes 100% precedence over people’s claims to their own dead bodies. Organs should be harvested upon death unless its clear the person or their family (such as Jehova’s Witnesses) don’t want it. But by making it opt-out, instead of opt-in, we can save thousands of lives, relieve the suffering of millions of people, and harm no one. That’s what civilized governments are for, is to arrange stuff like this.

Politics and fleshy claims to the body beyond life, and civics, and property rights…. all that stuff goes out the window in the grand scheme of things. The tools we have in our lives (such as our governments) should be used lovingly and creatively. But that doesn’t mean catering to those who selfishly cling to what they have zero use for.

JeffVader's avatar

Personally I do think this infringes on civil liberties…. however, this is one area where I think need overcomes that argument.

mattbrowne's avatar

In Europe there’s a discussion to make organ donation the default when a person dies. So instead of getting a organ donor card, people would have to get a ‘no organ donor card’ if they object to the idea for whatever reasons.

philosopher's avatar

@plethora
Your are correct.
I emailed Senator Andrew Lanza and told him I feel this law would violate my human rights. I would be more likely to donate without government attempting to force me.
They do not own my organs. No one owns us.
Thrifty I hope and pray your right.
If it passes other states will try.
I think this law should not be passed in a Democracy.

gorillapaws's avatar

@philosopher You have a funny definition of the word “force.”

If a guy forced sex on a woman, but gave her the chance to opt-out, would you still consider that “forced?”

philosopher's avatar

@gorillapaws
This is not the same thing at all.
They assume most Middle Class hard working people will not have the time to opt out.
Wealthy people like this corporate Senator will be entitled to steal our organs.
Our bodies are not the property of anyone. Humans can not be owned. Slavery and being an indented servant were outlawed. This is a step backward in the work direction.
When a family member passes people are in great pain. We do not need government demanding their organs. This is undemocratic.

plethora's avatar

@gorillapaws What is it about opt-out vs opt-in that you don’t understand?

gorillapaws's avatar

If there was a vote that was phrased like this how many people would vote for it:

[ ] let 10,000 people die of preventable illness every year, let 50,000 suffer with treatable medical conditions, decrease tax revenue, and spend hundreds of millions of dollars on medicaid, medicare, welfare and have private businesses loose tens of millions in worker productivity losses as related to these figures. Make it so people don’t have to “exert the effort” to check the “no” box at the dmv

[ ] save 10,000 people, help 50,000 people with treatable conditions annually, decrease government spending on these people to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, improve the productivity of American businesses, improve the lives of all those who are friends/family of those whose lives are saved and no-longer have to miss work to drive their loved ones to doctor’s appointments etc. Make it so people who don’t want to participate have to “exert the effort” to check the “no” box at the dmv.

[ ] save about 2,500 people, and help 12,500 with treatable conditions, have the govenrment Spend tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to encourage people to opt-in to the organ donor program. Spare people like @plethora the “burden” of having to check “no” but raise his taxes to help pay for the campaign.

I“m pulling those numbers of of my ass, but if you watched the video you’d realize that the difference is dramatic.

@philosopher I’m sure they would give people plenty of time to opt-out before it would go into effect. Middle class people still have to go to the DMV to renew their license, or participate in Jury duty; they may bitch about it, but it’s a FAR cry from slavery, give me a fucking break.

Rangie's avatar

And as Paul Harvey would say: And the rest of the story.
Next they will be requiring everybody to submit to test for cataloging all pertinent information for matching. That way they won’t waste any time finding a donor ready and waiting for the minute you die. Maybe we can call it assembly line human parts exchange. AHPE Then from that information, they could say, you must report for a bone marrow donation on such and such date as you are a match that is needed. Oh and by the way since you are here you are a match for a kidney, and you really don’t need 2, so we are taking one. Yeah, it sounds ridiculous, don’t discount it.
Hey folks, you have no idea what road this can take us down.
And what about the people that don’t understand any of this, so they just don’t do anything, and wind up as a donor, unbeknown to them or their family.

philosopher's avatar

@Rangie
I agree.
I am the Parent of an Autistic young Man. I don’t have time to waste on endless lines at Motor Vehicle.
This legislation is another way for the wealthy and Politicians to steal from us.

Rangie's avatar

@philosopher There are some of us that really get it.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Rangie who the hell is this “they” you keep referring to. I can’t think of a single person I know that wants an assembly line human parts exchange. Do you really believe that there is a conspiracy for any of that to happen? Let me just point out how ridiculous this sounds when used the other direction:

[reasonable law worth debating] Republicans want to pass a law allowing people to hunt for food.

[nonsensical extrapolation] That’s because “they” don’t want you to eat things other than animals you’ve killed yourself, because “they” want everyone to be killers so they will make better soldiers. “They” want better soldiers because they secretly intend to invade Canada to rape and pillage their natural resources.

[the illogical conclusion drawn from erroneous assumptions] Therefore it’s wrong to let people hunt for their own food because I don’t want to rape and pillage Canadians.

Can you imagine having rational discussions if liberals regularly reasoned that way? There are nutjobs on the left for sure, but this isn’t an accepted or standard tactic like it appears to be on the right. And yes I blame Fox News for a lot of it because as “journalists” they have an ethical obligation to know better.

“Yeah, it sounds ridiculous, don’t discount it.”—That’s because it IS ridiculous and I discount ridiculous things. If there was a political will for any of the nonsense you fabricated, please point me to evidence of it, I’d be happy to take a look. But let’s not abandon reasonable legislation simply because on some parallel universe when the crazies take over it there might be some chance that the original idea can become severely warped and perverted.

If we were in a political climate where your “human parts exchange” senario were actually being considered, I can assure you that we would be facing MUCH BIGGER PROBLEMS than the ones you mention, and I seriously doubt shooting down the proposed legislation now would have any effect in the hypothetical universe you propose.

Rangie's avatar

@gorillapaws Who have we been talking about? They are the politicians that keep trying to make these crazy laws. I am surprised you couldn’t figure that out. Listen Gorillaman, I don’t put anything past a politician. So in my opinion my senario could very well happen. I didn’t say anybody was considering it, not yet anyway. I believe for every action there is a reaction. I try to look ahead and see what the possibilities could be, before I jump into anything.

nikipedia's avatar

Wow, checking an “opt out” box rather than an “opt in” box is a slippery slope to doctors murdering babies for stem cells?

Use your brains, guys. This is the most sensible policy for organ donation by far.

BoBo1946's avatar

organ donor deal….that will never pass to require people to donate their organs!

Rangie's avatar

@nikipedia That is not the point sport. Forming a law like this is the point. People against this law, may well be donors, but don’t like a law like this.

The_Idler's avatar

You might feel differently, when you need a transplant, but there are no donors.
Thousands potential, but they never opted-in. They just never got round to it.

So long as you agree, in this situation, that their freedom to not have to think about not donating is more important than your life, you are principled and your argument is perfectly sound.

nikipedia's avatar

@Rangie: I’m sorry, I don’t understand what you’re trying to say.

Rangie's avatar

@The_Idler You don’t know if I am indeed a donor or not do you? I am not against donating, my mother was a donor. You say people intended to donate, but just never got around to it. That can also happen the other way around.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@Rangie says: Next they will be requiring everybody to submit to test for cataloging all pertinent information for matching. That way they won’t waste any time finding a donor ready and waiting for the minute you die. Maybe we can call it assembly line human parts exchange. AHPE Then from that information, they could say, you must report for a bone marrow donation on such and such date as you are a match that is needed. Oh and by the way since you are here you are a match for a kidney, and you really don’t need 2, so we are taking one.

Wow. That’s one of the biggest leaps of logic I’ve ever seen. Instead of going from Point A to Point B, you went from Point A to Point J all the way to point Z. Where’s the evidence? I don’t trust many politicians either, but I don’t think they’re conspiring to create a body parts factory.

The_Idler's avatar

In fact, just respond to my hypothetical situation:

Imagine your friend wasn’t a registered donor. She had told you that she would be happy to give up her organs to save a life after she was gone, but then she dies before getting round to registering.

Not long after, it transpires that you need a transplant, your friend being a suitable donor. Unfortunately your friend was not a registered donor.

If you tell me that you would be happy that her right to not have to think about not donating has been determined to be more important than your life, and that you would die, content in the knowledge that her rights had been protected, I am perfectly fine with your argument.

Otherwise, you are a hypocrite.

Rangie's avatar

@Dr_Dredd Please don’t twist what I have written. I said: next they will, I didn’t say they are. So read it again. I am saying you never know, that COULD happen, not IS GOING to happen.
I didn’t say anybody was conspiring. So please don’t put words in, what I write that are not there. Show me the word conspiring anywhere or even where indicated that. Geez

The_Idler's avatar

Tell me that you would rather die, than force people to make a formal decision about organ donation at one point in their lives, and I will respect your argument.

Rangie's avatar

@nikipedia We don’t need a law, for people to do the right thing. More education is needed, not a law.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Rangie are you willing to pay increased taxes to cover the expenses for said educational campaign?

Rangie's avatar

@gorillapaws Better there than down a rat hole.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@Rangie True, you don’t use the word “conspiring.” But you didn’t say “it could happen.” You did say, “Next they will.” To me, that implies you think it is going to happen, not that it might. If you wanted to say that it might happen, you could say something like “One possibility is that…” or “A likely scenario is…”

Rangie's avatar

@Dr_Dredd If you get “next they will” as an implication that I think it is going to happen, you are really stretch it. How could I possibly know that? So now you want me to check with you, on how to phrase things, so you can understand what I am saying?

The_Idler's avatar

@Rangie So, would you rather die, than have people make a formal decision about organ donation at one point in their lives?

nikipedia's avatar

@Rangie: But so few people are doing the right thing that clearly we do need a law.

What is this educational campaign going to entail? Reminding people that organ donations save lives? Is this news? Are the people who are not organ donors unaware of this fact?

Rangie's avatar

@The_Idler People don’t need this law to make a decision about being a donor. You know as well as I do, every law carries with it more baggage, and more baggage can be added to it. I don’t think it is a good idea. I would not vote for it. Period need I say more. I done.

BoBo1946's avatar

one Senator, and the bill will never pass!

plethora's avatar

Ok, I have no idea what planet you folks come from, so I’ll play the Nazi card. The Nazi’s always had a reason “for the greater good” to limit and finally destroy civil and personal liberties. The destruction of liberties did not happen in one fell swoop. It happened an inch at a time.

That is exactly what we are talking about here. There is a “greater good” that justifies taking away my right to donate or not donate my organs upon my death. Don’t even mention this “opting out” bullshit as identical or similar to my free choice NOW.

That’s my final comment. You can prattle on as long as you wish with each other.

The_Idler's avatar

So now I’m waiting for the next guy with an American revolver in their avatar to come along and compare opt-out systems of organ donation to totalitarian conspiracies.

Maybe this time I’ll be convinced, third time lucky.

gorillapaws's avatar

The Nazi’s also ate meat, does that mean all non-vegitarians will start gassing Jews? Use your head. Sometimes we have to make sacrifices on our personal liberty for the greater good like being forced to only drive on the right side of the road, or not being allowed to land helicopters on the washington mall. All laws don’t lead to Nazism.

If they ever wanted to remove the opt-out part of the law (which I’m certain they never would), I along with every other liberal american, the ACLU, Obama, Pelosi and the most fire-breathing liberal you could think of would all be in opposition to it.

ragingloli's avatar

@plethora
Actually it was done in two big steps, even jumps. The first step were emergency decrees by Hindenburg that basically eliminated constitutional protections and liberties altogether. See it as a parallel to martial law.
The second step was Hitler’s ‘Enabling Law’, which was easily passed after many of the opposing communists, socialists and social democrats were arrested, which gave Hitler the power to enact laws without having to be supported by either the Reichstag or Reichsrat and without having to be signed by the President.
It was not in any way “inch by inch”. It were two big leaps.

philosopher's avatar

@Rangie
I wonder how they would feel if upon the death of a family member someone came to their bed side and; told them you can not have a funeral until their organs are removed?
It would actually be like that for some working people.
For those of us who have lost a love one we remember the great pain.
Politicians have no right to tell us what is morally right or wrong. Most of them are morally corporate.

ragingloli's avatar

@philosopher
I would be fine with that.

Rangie's avatar

@philosopher They are indeed morally corrupt, and I mean almost all of them. They are also lacking in a code of ethics. It is all about power for them. They are so presumptuous as to think they have a right to even try to put something like this into law. Yeah, I know, here comes the fluther lib’s after me. I grant them the right to believe and do what they want, but leave me alone.
See, there is one now.

philosopher's avatar

@Rangie
I am a proud Independent.
I support people like Lou Dobbs most of the time.
I support Middle Class American’s.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Rangie I don’t think you get to bring up moral corruption here. Under any ethical code you would be morally obligated to be an organ donor, or do you have some explanation of how it’s morally acceptable to avoid saving the life of someone with no cost to yourself. No you don’t get to take the moral highground here, sorry, you’re lumped in with the Nazis.

Rangie's avatar

@gorillapaws hahahahahahaaha consider it audible.

philosopher's avatar

@gorillapaws
Only G-d has the right to judge any human and you are defiantly not him.
Why should anyone give a shit what you think?
In a democracy people decide for themselves.
The law will not pass.

gorillapaws's avatar

@philosopher Actually, if you’re Christian than God did weigh in on this particular subject. Do onto others as you would have them do unto you. Anyone willing to receive an organ for either themselves or their loved one is morally obligated to be a donor themselves under the golden rule. If we follow Kant’s categorical imperative, I’m pretty sure organ donation would qualify as a moral imperative. If you follow a utilitarian moral code I’m certain that you’re obligated to be an organ donor, and if you use a Rawlsian model based on the veil of ignorance, I’m pretty sure we would arrive at organ donation as a moral duty as well.

We’re not obligated legally to obey moral law (nor should we be), and the arguments I’ve made have applied to social contract theory (not ethics), but if you want to make this a moral debate I think you’ll have VERY LITTLE GROUND to stand on.

philosopher's avatar

@gorillapaws
I would like to believe in G-d. I never said, I belonged to any religion.
If he she it exist you are not him.

gorillapaws's avatar

@philosopher “If he she it exist you are not him.”

We can agree on that at least.

Rangie's avatar

@gorillapaws When someone tries to flex their intellectual wings, I often find that they know just enough to be dangerous, but non-influential.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Rangie perhaps that’s why someone as smart as yourself still has some pretty ridiculous fears about government.

Rangie's avatar

@gorillapaws I am not trying to convince anyone of my intelligence or lack of. So I am not concerned with what you think my fears are. I am sure we all have fears of something and we are entitled to that. Who are you to assume you know what my fears are and if they are ridiculous or not? But thank you for the compliment.

Zen_Again's avatar

I think that once you all get Obamacare, and allow the Government to decide all kinds of health things for you, like when and where and from what age to smoke, drink, etcetera, taxes on this and that, maybe even not allowing junk food in schools – ad later on in the workplace… but… taking care of your sick body even if you don’t have the money for it – then the Government can also use your spare parts to help others when you die. It’s just fair, n’est ce pas? Maybe in your next lifetime you’ll need a spare valve or kidney.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Zen_Again you do realize that Obamacare is almost identical to the Republican healthcare plan from 1993, or is it more fun to live in a fictional reality where you can go on believing that the GOP has any intellectual integrity whatsoever…

Provlear's avatar

I think it makes complete sense that organs should be harvested upon death. It’s rather selfish to say “no, I need these more than science/a dying person. But of course, this senator is silly for trying. People will go nuts thinking this is a privacy issue or something.

Zen_Again's avatar

@gorillapaws I’ll chalk that up to you not knowing me, where I’m from, where I stand on the issue and never having spoken to me before. You’ve read too much, or not enough, into what I’d written. Perhaps if you explain yourself and your views on the topic of Obamacare, I’ll try to explain mine. Though I shan’t be affected by it – as I am not an American.

:-)

gorillapaws's avatar

@Zen_Again apologies, that was a total brain-fart on my part.

Zen_Again's avatar

@gorillapaws That’s okay – my humour (or lack thereof) isn’t always understood – or funny, for that matter. One man’s satire is another man’s brainfart – I am probably to be blame. But… farts are funny, n’est ce pas?

:-)

BoBo1946's avatar

@gorillapaws good show with your apology…peacemakers are needed now days!

philosopher's avatar

I am more concerned about the government telling us what we have do or not do.
That was the point of the question.
This is suppose be a democracy. Not a dictatorship.
American’s can decide for themselves.
The government has no right to our bodies they do not own us.
I would like to tell this Senator to go to hell!
This pompous jerk gets paid with my tax dollars.
I am the mother of an Autistic young man.
Living in state with a school system that is less that competent. My son attends an out of state program because this state has few appropriate programs.
The state Assembly is full of cooperate Politicians looking out for their own best interest.
This Senators daughter needed a transplant. I will have sympathy for him when he does his job. When he addresses my sons needs. His family is no more important than mine.
Autistic people are mistreated everyone and this state has a lousy education department. The assembly and the Governor keep cutting the budget for special needs people.
Many of you miss the point of my outrage.

Response moderated
Response moderated
gorillapaws's avatar

@philosopher “I hope when your loved ones die before you can accept it or plan a funeral. They come for their organs.”

Most organ donors don’t actually have their organs donated because they usually die in such a way that the organs aren’t usable. If any of my loved ones were fortunate enough to die under such circumstances that their organs might go make several people’s lives better I would be thrilled that some good was coming from my loss. I think it would help ease the emotional pain of their passing.

The_Idler's avatar

Oh, i see, so it means the government owns your body.

I thought it was all about an ‘opt-out’ system of organ donation, where you have to just say if you don’t want to help save lives after you’re dead.

Now I finally see the scheme for the communist fascist muslim un-american witchcraft that it is!
#Shoots revolver in air#
Thanks for enlightening me.

Rangie's avatar

you know, now might be a good time to go back and read the entire thread and reflect. And then I would say this topic has been exhausted, and we all can go peacefully about out business.

The_Idler's avatar

Until you’re taken ill and need that transplant that your friend would have given you.

Oh well, at least you died defending a person’s liberties. Even if they are dead.

Awesome, everybody’s dead: mission accomplished.

Rangie's avatar

you just can’t leave a dead dog lye.
By the way, don’t you remember that saying “he who speaks last, loses”?

philosopher's avatar

@Rangie
They are do busy speaking political L wing rhetoric to comprehend my problem.
I might be willing to donate my organs to a worthwhile person but; this should be every individuals choice. Not the government. Not the law.
Upon death the person’s family should decide who or if someone gets the organs. Not some government agency.
If politicians are in control wealthy people will get the organs while Middle Class and poor people die.

Rangie's avatar

@philosopher I agree, there would most likely be a list of priorities. And I mean people priorities. I really don’t see this happening, so at this point I am not going to worry about it. They might as well get down off of their soap box and move on.

philosopher's avatar

@Rangie
LOL They made me laugh a lot.
Rhetoric does not affect me.

gorillapaws's avatar

@philosopher apparently logic doesn’t affect you either.

“this should be every individuals choice.” we all agree that it should be an individual’s choice, this bill deals with the situation when the individual didn’t make the choice.

Under the current system it’s the rich people like Steve Jobs who can afford to fly around to the state with the lowest wait times or buy an organ on the black market from China. The poor and middle-class who get screwed over. It’s like your arguments emit this aura of stupidity that radiates out, completely blinding you from reality.

Rangie's avatar

@gorillapaws You know gorillaman, you seem to be so totally consumed with this,” not yet legislation”, that you should get a clip board, and go down to your local supermarket, and sign people up for the NY automatic donor program to be. Yes, that is exactly what you need to do. Please report back and let us know of your success.

Response moderated
Dog's avatar

[Mod Says:] Flame off folks.

Please stick to the topic which is “A New York state Senator wants to pass legislation that would force people to donate their organs. Do you think such a bill would endanger our civil liberties?”

Personal and off topic quips will be removed.

Thanks!

Response moderated
Kraigmo's avatar

I think those that are against automatic (opt-out) organ donation, are just trying to be politically and philosophically consistent to themselves.

They totally miss the point. They think that education and encouragement is the best way to increase organ donation without violating any rights. But if that is the case, why do people in states like California, where all it takes is checking a box on the drivers license, usually skip it or say “no”?

Why is that? And if we were to do the opposite, and require them to check a box to opt out…. Would that reverse the results? No… People would STILL skip the box.

And that right there would suddenly make almost every single person in America who needs an organ… to find one before they die of organ failure.

Right now, most of these people die.

And that’s insanely stupid we are too childish as a civilization to properly handle this.

The conservatives and libertarians who hate this idea really should realize that they can give in on this one, logical issue, and no one will suffer, and millions of lives will be saved, and there will be no philosophical threat against any of their other conservative or libertarian arguments on any other subject, since all other subjects take place within the realm of living, and not the realm of the post-dead.

There is no reason to take the conservative or libertarian position on this one issue. It’s silly and it kills people, and is an attempt to protect a childish, borderline non-existent right.

Just like liberals that are against making it a felony to kill a fetus during an assault of a woman (because that could lead to treating fetuses as humans)... more stupid political consistency by those that fear slippery slopes; This twisted logic occurs by politicos on both sides of the aisle because they fear making exceptions to their holy personal idealogies

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@Kraigmo And they fear that if they give an inch, the other side will take a mile.

philosopher's avatar

@Dr_Dredd
You are correct.
It is about the right to decide who if anyone gets your organs.
I would want to help someone who was not wealthy enough to buy them.
I do not want the state to tell my family what to do.
I think this question is done.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther