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Proposal that people with donor cards are given priority over those that don't when needing an organ?

(252 Posts)
angelos02 Thu 11-Jul-13 11:21:01

DM Link if you want more detail:

I can't see why anyone would argue against this. I do think an exception would have to be made for people that can't be donors due to medical reasons. Apart from that, why on earth not?

SoupDragon Wed 17-Jul-13 07:43:17

On one of these threads something was mentioned about how funeral parlours etc "respect the dead". That is purely for the benefit of the living. Any choice of cremation/burial/put on the compost heap is purely honouring the memory of the deceased. The dead don't care.

As an aside, can relatives give permission for organs to be donated even where there is no donor card/registration?

SoupDragon Wed 17-Jul-13 07:39:31

Language issues aren't an issue at all. Every single document comes in what seems to be 20 different languages.
Anyone with limited capability for understanding should be automatically opted out.
Literacy issues, I imagine would be dealt with however you usually deal with things you can't read. It's a simple yes/no thing.

The point is that other countries have opt out systems. Have they not considered these issues already? Does the system work well there? Are the British inherently more stupid and unable to cope with making a choice to opt out?

SoupDragon Wed 17-Jul-13 07:35:16

Not everyone is proactive, organised and decisive enough to opt out either Juggling, does that mean they don't have the right to decide what happens to their own body after their brain has died?

Except they do have the right to decide. They made their decision when they chose not to opt out. Anyone who feels strongly about not donating will opt out.

JugglingFromHereToThere Mon 15-Jul-13 19:26:19

Well, personally I think families feelings and opinions should be considered too. Possibly they may be likely to know what the deceased person's own views might have been as well Clouds
Continuing to ask family may go some way to covering the issues you raise RedToothBrush
But does seem to me that we have the balance wrong at present.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 15-Jul-13 18:56:14

Not everyone is proactive, organised and decisive enough to opt out either Juggling, does that mean they don't have the right to decide what happens to their own body after their brain has died?

RedToothBrush Mon 15-Jul-13 18:51:47

I love how everyone on this thread, assumes that everyone has the ability to opt out.

How about people who have language issues, limited capacity or inability to opt out (such as having literacy problems).

This is what bugs me. Just because YOU could opt out, doesn't mean everyone can. And we should be thinking about this as its the most vulnerable who are most at risk.

JugglingFromHereToThere Mon 15-Jul-13 18:32:27

Isn't that a bit contrary of you Fillyjonk ?

Not everyone is as proactive, organised, and decisive as you and those organs are badly needed.

My DNeice for example is (at five) already one kidney down due to Wilms Disease (a cancer of the kidney affecting children particularly I understand)
Depending how well the other one copes with the job of two kidneys she might need another one one-day ? Hopefully not as I know there's a long waiting list.

But good for you for being "in" ATM, and of course it's your choice. And it's not really personal. Just think you're in the minority that's all.

merrymouse Mon 15-Jul-13 17:25:28

I'm not really convinced that the process of embalming is more respectful than the process of removing organs for donation. (And I would imagine that donating organs wouldn't preclude being embalmed afterwards).

Fillyjonk75 Mon 15-Jul-13 17:17:36

I'd opt out if it was an opt out system. While it's an opt in system, I'm in.

HorryIsUpduffed Mon 15-Jul-13 17:16:02

Yes, in the abstract I can say I'd donate parts of DH or DC because they're currently fit and well and it is an abstract question.

But I know that when I have been faced with a coffin with an actual family member's body in it, my reaction has been unscientific and visceral.

I wouldn't expect a funeral director to have a conversation about his new girlfriend over someone's body, even though objectively it makes no difference.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 15-Jul-13 17:11:27

I will if I have to, but that's not the point I was responding to.

I was responding to people who are saying it doesn't matter what happens when you are dead, or in reality, half dead.

SoupDragon Mon 15-Jul-13 17:09:45


CloudsAndTrees Mon 15-Jul-13 16:51:27

It might not matter to some people, but actually it does matter to me what happens to my body while there is still blood pumping round it, and it matters to me what happens to my loved ones bodies while they still have blood pumping round them.

It is ridiculous to say that it doesn't matter what happens to a persons body after it has died, even more so when the actual body is being kept alive artificially.

If it didn't matter, then funeral parlours wouldn't bother about treating bodies with respect, people wouldn't bother thinking about what they want their loved ones to wear while they are buried or cremated. In fact, people wouldn't bother even deciding if they want to be buried or cremated.

But they do, so it does matter!

SoupDragon Mon 15-Jul-13 16:25:04

Again this idea that because you are dead it doesn't matter what happens to your body!

Well, it doesn't. On account of you no longer being in it. Religious beliefs aside (which is what opting out is for).

Forcing medical treatment on a living person as you describe would probably be assault.

merrymouse Mon 15-Jul-13 15:52:56

The thing is, we are all basically donating our bodies to the worms after death.

It's just that some of us would rather that the prime bits helped enrich the lives of living people for a bit. You can't escape the circle of life.

HopeForTheBest Mon 15-Jul-13 15:04:37

Again this idea that because you are dead it doesn't matter what happens to your body!

SoupDragon Mon 15-Jul-13 14:25:03

How is this different (in principle) to eg insisting that everyone has to give blood? Or be vaccinated, for that matter? (Medical exemptions aside, obviously).

Well, the person is dead for a start and has no use for their organs.

JugglingFromHereToThere Mon 15-Jul-13 14:14:30

I think they'll check the database first, yes, keski - I don't think it will take long at all to do that.

JugglingFromHereToThere Mon 15-Jul-13 14:11:01

It's different mainly because you can opt out if you want to.

And also because you'll be dead, so even if anything was done against your wishes (because you hadn't got round to expressing them) you wouldn't actually know about it.

All very different to being made to give blood or forced to take part in a vax programme.

keskiviikko Mon 15-Jul-13 14:09:11

I am one of those people who isn't on the register, and never will be. But saying that I would never accept an organ either. I used to donate blood until I got too ill, and will not accept blood either as they will not let you donate blood after having a blood transfusion, so that made me think that they don't trust the blood they are taking. I don't think it should be mandatory, and while an opt out option is an idea are they really going to check the database when they are getting ready to switch the machine off and harvest your organs. Organ harvesting is time critical.

HopeForTheBest Mon 15-Jul-13 13:59:44

Sorry, what I meant was that the default should never be that someone else has rights over my body which I then have to explicitly opt out of.

How is this different (in principle) to eg insisting that everyone has to give blood? Or be vaccinated, for that matter? (Medical exemptions aside, obviously). Neither of those things actually has any negative affect on you, does it? They are both v. good for society, help lots of people etc etc. So why not make them mandatory?

Fillyjonk75 Mon 15-Jul-13 13:49:27

I'm on the donor register but I certainly don't intend to become a donor of any organs at any time! I also hope I will never require anyone else's organs either. It isn't exactly like donating blood is it?

The way I see it is that no matter how many people register as donors, there will ALWAYS be a shortage of human organs for donation, and so there should be, as medical knowledge advances doctors get better at saving people who have suffered terrible injuries in road accidents, and road safety improves so there are fewer accidents.

But hopefully there will also be significant improvements in artifical organs so that donation from human to human is simply never required and no-one has to die to save someone else.

I am very nervous about any system which makes it obligatory for organs to be removed on death - I think this would lead to doctors being too ready to see a person as ready to be scrapped for parts - or anything which goes against the principle of organ donation being just that, a gift freely given with clear consent.

Dickwhittington Mon 15-Jul-13 13:06:20

So how long do you have to be on the list for before you can be eligible? Is it OK to go on the list after you get ill and are non longer suitable? can you only receive organs you offer to give?

LimburgseVlaai Mon 15-Jul-13 12:58:05

What a ridiculous idea!! Sorry I will NOT click on a DM link, and I haven't read the whole thread but...

What about blood donations? Should only regular blood donors be able to receive blood?

No, didn't think so. Same thing: you give a part of your body to someone who needs it more (and who needs it most) for altruistic reasons. No value judgement should ever be made.

Otherwise I could say: I don't want my blood to go to DM readers.

SoupDragon Mon 15-Jul-13 09:20:39

It's not true that the state automatically gets to decide - you get to decide when you choose whether to stay opted in or opt out.

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