Join TSR now to have your say on this topicSign up now

We should be organ donors by default, not "non-donor" by default? Watch

  • View Poll Results: Should everyone be an organ donor by default, requiring them to opt-out if they wish?
    Yes, people should be donors by default and you can opt-out if you wish
    125
    59.24%
    No, people should be non-donors by default and opt-in
    86
    40.76%

    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Officegirl4)
    Instead, I think there should be no status until you are 16. By no status I mean you aren't registered and you aren't not registered, however if you do unfortunately pass on, then it should be up to your next of kin.
    On or around your 16th birthday you should be sent a letter, email or text asking you whether or not to register. I think there would be more people on the register

    Thats just my opinion though.
    I'm pretty sure this is the case with minors as my cousin died aged 12 who was not registered yet her parents decided to donate her organs


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Domeface)
    Presumably because (a) you are dead and therefore have no ownership of anything, (b) your organs would merely go to waste otherwise (there's no issue of inheritance) and (c) removing them from you negatively affects absolutely nobody, while (d) saving lives. In other words, it's a no-lose situation.
    I believe an earlier post of mine provides an adequate response to these points. This is what I said:

    Well that's exactly what an opt-out system amounts to. Everyone is essentially required to place a "please do not take" note on their organs. If we're not going to require everyone to put "please do not steal" stickers on each of their homely possessions (otherwise they're free for the taking), why should body parts be an exception?

    I anticipate two responses to this: [1] Organs can save someone else's life, and [2] You'll be dead by the time anyone takes your organs, so you won't care. I think these are both faulty arguments, and my responses would be as follows:
    [1] Anything can save someone's life. Donating lots of money can save someone's life, but we don't allow charities to presume that they have a right to take your money just because you haven't stated otherwise. [2] We also don't allow people to just take whatever they feel like from the estate of a recently deceased person. Ownership passes to their next of kin. It doesn't become a public free-for-all.
    Perhaps I should also address your point that "removing them from you negatively affects absolutely nobody". Many people believe that having their organs removed will negatively affect them in some kind of afterlife, or are worried about the risk of the same. You might not agree with these sorts of beliefs - but it's a person's right to use their possessions as they see fit, according to their own beliefs, and not according to yours.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by tazarooni89)
    I believe an earlier post of mine provides an adequate response to these points. This is what I said:
    Your worldy possessions actually do require a "please do not steal" sticker, that being a will. Without a will, your estate passes to your legal heirs, ie your children / spouse / whatever. If you wish to distribute your estate in a different way to this (eg I believe by default it all goes to the spouse if you're married, but you might want your children to have a share too, or donate some to charity or whatever), then you have to write a will. In the absence of a will, your heirs are the most logical choices to hand your estate over to. Likewise, in the absence of you stating a preference, the most logical place for your organs to go is to be transplanted, since otherwise they're useless. In both cases, if you feel strongly enough about wanting to do something different from the norm then you have the opportunity to do so.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Domeface)
    Your worldy possessions actually do require a "please do not steal" sticker, that being a will. Without a will, your estate passes to your legal heirs, ie your children / spouse / whatever. If you wish to distribute your estate in a different way to this (eg I believe by default it all goes to the spouse if you're married, but you might want your children to have a share too, or donate some to charity or whatever), then you have to write a will. In the absence of a will, your heirs are the most logical choices to hand your estate over to. Likewise, in the absence of you stating a preference, the most logical place for your organs to go is to be transplanted, since otherwise they're useless. In both cases, if you feel strongly enough about wanting to do something different from the norm then you have the opportunity to do so.
    Why should the "most logical place" for most of your possessions to go, in the absence of stating a preference, be to your spouse/children, while for organs, we make an exception, and the "most logical place" is to people needing transplants?

    You say it's because organs are useless otherwise, but that's not for you, or other external people to decide, is it?
    Plenty of a deceased person's possessions will be useless to their heirs. When my mum dies, all her clothes are going to be useless to me. But that still doesn't give other people the right to just come and take them, presuming that they have permission. It's for us to decide how useless or otherwise we think they might be.
    As I said already, there are plenty of people who think there's a chance that their organs may not be useless to them after they die, for various after-life type reasons. There are plenty of people who, for emotional reasons, wouldn't like those organs to be used by someone else. So there is insufficient basis to make an exception for organs and treat them differently after death than the rest of someone's possessions.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by nimrodstower)
    Well by that, why not go the whole hog and introduce a euthanasia system to decrease the surplus population, the Ebeneezer Project sounds good.
    That's going far beyond my point and you know it . We have to be logical here , there is no point in working on methods of extending life when we are not going to have the capacity for such populous.We have future generations to think about you know. If we have the technology and progression in agriculture to fit such a scope then I am all for immortality mate , but we do not want to end up like China in every country , The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Utopia etc. These are decisions which could be detrimental to the human race , they cant be rushed.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Jaegon Targaryen)
    That's going far beyond my point and you know it . We have to be logical here , there is no point in working on methods of extending life when we are not going to have the capacity for such populous.We have future generations to think about you know. If we have the technology and progression in agriculture to fit such a scope then I am all for immortality mate , but we do not want to end up like China in every country , The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Utopia etc. These are decisions which could be detrimental to the human race , they cant be rushed.
    I am all for a logical approach, unfortunately the world doesn't work like that. We can't even get agreements on whether global warming is a fact, so instead of being cautious on the side of error, we pump out more and more climate changing gases. The notion that the medical authorities are going to not save lives is unrealistic, could you imagine the furore if somebody died, after being refused an availabe organ. No I am afraid humanity very rarely acts on logic.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by tazarooni89)
    Why is it that three people are all able to read an analogy and call it "stupid", yet not one is able to explain exactly what the flaw in the analogy is? I didn't really expect to receive such primitive rebuttals in a debating section of the forum.
    And @Shanji: Yes, of course they're "different" - that's the whole point of an analogy. You take a different situation and apply the same principle, to see if it still works.

    The principle in both cases is one in which we assume that the owner of something consents to it being taken and used by other people, simply because they haven't stated otherwise.
    Most analogies are stupid, simply because they are not thought out. You may have noticed that I said, "stupid and crass", because of your rather insensitive idea that the loss of a few material gains in any way equates to giving a better life to some poor unfortunate, who just happened to have some defect. I may be wrong, but I think you are a religious person, if that is true, then I would expect that the act of saving someones life would be paramount.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Agreed, a lot of people just never get round to doing even when they wouldnt mind.

    if you object on religious or moral grounds, or whatever grounds you want, then as the OP says you could opt out if you feel strongly enough.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by tazarooni89)
    Why should the "most logical place" for most of your possessions to go, in the absence of stating a preference, be to your spouse/children, while for organs, we make an exception, and the "most logical place" is to people needing transplants?
    Because organs are not possessions. Just because we treat possessions in one way does not mean that we are "making an exception" by treating organs differently; we're merely treating two different things in different ways. And the reason that your possessions go to your heirs is because that's generally where most people will want them to go, so it's a relatively good approximation of what probably would have been in your will. Likewise, most people support organ donation, so in the absence of them having stated a preference, the most logical choice is to donate their organs.

    Once you are dead, you don't own anything. If you haven't told anyone what you want to do with your possessions / organs / whatever, then the most sensible course of action is that which the majority would take. In the case of possessions this is your heirs, but in the case of organs it is not, so your analogy falls down there.

    You say it's because organs are useless otherwise, but that's not for you, or other external people to decide, is it?
    In the absence of you having specified a preference, yes it is. Organs objectively serve no purpose unless they are in a living person's body. The only uses of them would be so specialised (eg preserving them somehow and displaying them as art; preserving them in the hope of resurrecting the deceased person at some point in the future) that they would most certainly be the exception rather than the rule.

    Plenty of a deceased person's possessions will be useless to their heirs. When my mum dies, all her clothes are going to be useless to me. But that still doesn't give other people the right to just come and take them, presuming that they have permission. It's for us to decide how useless or otherwise we think they might be.
    They're not useless because they have value to other people; you could sell them or give them to friends or something. That does not apply with organs.

    As I said already, there are plenty of people who think there's a chance that their organs may not be useless to them after they die, for various after-life type reasons. There are plenty of people who, for emotional reasons, wouldn't like those organs to be used by someone else. So there is insufficient basis to make an exception for organs and treat them differently after death than the rest of someone's possessions.
    Given that there is no evidence to support such beliefs, and given that those with such beliefs are in a minority, it is stupid to treat every unknown party as if they hold such beliefs. Just because a few people want to keep their organs after their death does not mean we should assume that everybody does.

    The fact of the matter is that in an opt-out system, if somebody does not wish to donate their organs, they are very likely to opt-out. If they fail to opt out then it's unlikely that they feel strongly enough about it to not donate. By contrast, in an opt-in system, it's very possible that somebody might want to donate their organs but never gets around to officially signing up. An opt-out system will more accurately reflect the true wishes of everybody who dies than an opt-in system, making it the better option.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Maybe it could work like an insurance policy, if you dont partake then you dont get treatment (transplants), for yourself and your kids.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by nimrodstower)
    Most analogies are stupid, simply because they are not thought out. You may have noticed that I said, "stupid and crass", because of your rather insensitive idea that the loss of a few material gains in any way equates to giving a better life to some poor unfortunate, who just happened to have some defect. I may be wrong, but I think you are a religious person, if that is true, then I would expect that the act of saving someones life would be paramount.
    I don't think they equate to each other. Obviously giving up something insignificant to you in order to save someone's life is a very good thing to do.

    I'm simply pointing out that we should apply principles consistently. If it's okay to take someone's organs to save someone else's life, because they haven't said that we can't, then using the same principle, it should also be acceptable for a charity to take money out of your bank account to give to starving children in Africa, just because you haven't said they can't. In this case as well, losing a few pounds may be no big deal to you, but could save some people's lives.

    If in all other analogous cases we do not presume consent by default, then why make an exception for organs? If we're going to presume consent by default for organs, then why not presume consent for everything else as well?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by tazarooni89)
    If in all other analogous cases we do not presume consent by default, then why make an exception for organs? If we're going to presume consent by default for organs, then why not presume consent for everything else as well?
    Because we do presume consent by default for all other cases; that being consent for your heirs to get everything. What you are presumed to consent to may be different, but you are still presumed to consent.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Domeface)
    Because we do presume consent by default for all other cases; that being consent for your heirs to get everything. What you are presumed to consent to may be different, but you are still presumed to consent.
    Yes, and that's my point. There's no reason for what you consent to be different. You can arbitrarily make anyone consent to anything if the thing you consent to by default is different for each of your things, just by claiming that it is the most logical choice.

    What's to stop me from saying "the most logical place for someone's money to go when they die is to charity, so unless they state otherwise, charities can take their money"?

    If the default consent when someone dies is for their heirs to decide what happens to their things, then the same should be true for organs. There's no reason to make an exception for them. The only reasons you've provided so far are based on your own beliefs, not universal facts (e.g. organs are useless to you when you die). It's extremely common for religious people to believe otherwise, for example.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    I'd rather not be worth more to some people dead than alive.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by tazarooni89)
    Yes, and that's my point. There's no reason for what you consent to be different. You can arbitrarily make anyone consent to anything if the thing you consent to by default is different for each of your things, just by claiming that it is the most logical choice.

    What's to stop me from saying "the most logical place for someone's money to go when they die is to charity, so unless they state otherwise, charities can take their money"?
    Because most people don't donate all of their estate to charity. Most people will pass the majority of their estate onto their spouse / children, so it makes sense to make that the default. Likewise, most people support organ donation, so it also makes sense to make that the default. And even if it were not the majority, the numbers are significant enough to do it anyway, since as I mentioned earlier an opt-out system would certainly reflect people's wishes more accurately (people are much more likely to go to the effort of getting out of something they don't want than to sign up for sometime they vaguely support).

    If the default consent when someone dies is for their heirs to decide what happens to their things, then the same should be true for organs.
    No it shouldn't. Possessions and organs are very different things. It would be utterly illogical to blindly treat organs in the same way as possessions for the sake of it.

    Instead of sticking blindly to your analogy, could you explain actual disadvantages of an opt-out system? Imagine that there is no precedent for what happens to your wordly possessions. Why, purely on their own merits, is opt-in better than opt-out?
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Domeface)
    Because most people don't donate all of their estate to charity. Most people will pass the majority of their estate onto their spouse / children, so it makes sense to make that the default. Likewise, most people support organ donation, so it also makes sense to make that the default. And even if it were not the majority, the numbers are significant enough to do it anyway, since as I mentioned earlier an opt-out system would certainly reflect people's wishes more accurately (people are much more likely to go to the effort of getting out of something they don't want than to sign up for sometime they vaguely support).
    If by "support organ donation", you mean are willing to actively make the choice to donate their organs once they die, I'd like to see some evidence for that.
    Anyone can "support organ donation". I support organ donation, in the sense that I agree that it is a noble thing to do. That doesn't necessarily mean I want to do it myself.

    In the case of property and money and other possessions etc. if the law did not automatically make your spouse/children inherit them, I'm happy to agree that the majority of people would actively choose to pass them on to their spouse/children regardless.
    If it were also true that, even without presumed consent, the vast majority of people were donating their organs after death, then I might agree that it makes sense, in the absence of other expressions of wishes, to assume that a particular deceased person also wishes to donate their organs like everyone else, on the balance of probabilities. But that is not the case as far as I'm aware.

    No it shouldn't. Possessions and organs are very different things. It would be utterly illogical to blindly treat organs in the same way as possessions for the sake of it.
    Of course your organs are different to the rest of your possessions. Every one of the things you own will be different from another in some way. Laptops and phones are very different things. Toasters and televisions are very different things. Organs and books are very different things. So what? What exactly is different about them that means you should treat them differently for a deceased person?

    Instead of sticking blindly to your analogy, could you explain actual disadvantages of an opt-out system? Imagine that there is no precedent for what happens to your wordly possessions. Why, purely on their own merits, is opt-in better than opt-out?
    I'm not saying opt-in is better than opt-out. I just disagree with the way the reasons we make our laws what they are often seem to be cherry-picked.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by tazarooni89)
    Perhaps I should also address your point that "removing them from you negatively affects absolutely nobody". Many people believe that having their organs removed will negatively affect them in some kind of afterlife, or are worried about the risk of the same. You might not agree with these sorts of beliefs - but it's a person's right to use their possessions as they see fit, according to their own beliefs, and not according to yours.
    Perhaps I should address your's- they can opt out.... :rolleyes:
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Snagprophet)
    I'd rather not be worth more to some people dead than alive.
    Then next time you are hospitalised you'll have to avoid consuming a hospital bed?
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    My organs belong to me and not the state. They are mine to decide what happens to them.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    I think you have a point, but I have to disagree. I would donate my organs as I wouldn't need them if I was dead. They could save someone's life instead of rotting away in a coffin. :rolleyes:
    However, some people have religious beliefs and even personal reasons not to donate and that's their right. Like someone said, they're your organs not anyone else's. You should decide on them.
    If one wants to donate they just sign up
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: April 25, 2013
Poll
Which Fantasy Franchise is the best?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Quick reply
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.