Friday, April 30, 2010

Just Because Israel and Other Countries Do It Doesn't Mean We Should, Too


It's not that I want to call politicians names, it's that I have to. Behold the latest example of an utter moron, State Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, and his brilliant legislative effort to move us one step closer to a totalitarian society:

New York State Assemblyman Richard Brodsky nearly lost his daughter, Willie, at 4 years old when she needed a kidney transplant, and again 10 years later when her second kidney failed.

"We have 10,000 New Yorkers on the list today waiting for organs. We import half the organs we transplant. It is an unacceptable failed system," Brodsky said.

To fix that, Brodsky introduced a new bill in Albany that would enroll all New Yorkers as an organ donor, unless they actually opt out of organ donation. It would be the first law of its kind in the United States.

"Overseas, 24 nations have it. Israel has it. Others have it. And it works without a lot of controversy," Brodsky said.

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At 1:21 PM, Blogger Kaethe said...

I'm curious: why do you oppose an opt-out for organ donation, rather than an opt-in? I don't really see it as a step towards totalitarianism, but I freely admit I could be missing something.

At 3:43 PM, Blogger Liz Miller said...

This is one I disagree with you on. Opt-out on organ donation makes sense when 9 out of 10 people wouldn't mind having their organs donated but only 1 out of 10 sign up.

At 12:39 AM, Blogger ema said...

I oppose this both in theory and in practice.

In theory, just because a goal (increasing organ donations) is worthy and something we should work on, both as individuals and as a society, is not reason enough to trust the government with a power grab.

With presumed-consent the government creates a new baseline--the State is entitled to make decisions about your internal organs--and puts the burden on the individual to object to the intrusion and take measures to stop it (opt-out).

Once the medical decision making is shifted to the State you have to trust that politicians will 1) limit the intrusion (only transplants, not, say, egg donation), and 2) continue to allow individuals to have input in their medical decisions. I don't.

In practice, the evidence supporting presumed-consent as a significant factor in organ donation is, at best, weak (.pdf).

At 4:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can see the concern about increasing government intrusiveness, and I think that's important. But as far as numbers, those countries that do use opt-out have 9 out of 10 signed up. It's not that I'm sold on the idea necessarily, although I'm perfectly happy for any organs of mine to be used when I'm done with them. I suppose it's knowing that switching the default will automatically make a huge change in the number of people willing to do it.

But since I'm also an aggressive believer and promoter of the idea of bodily integrity, I'm open to arguments.

I had a problem with the sign in, that's why I'm noting that this is kaethe again.


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