ForumTouchy Subjects ► Organ Donation
Should organ donation be mandatory, or at least opt in? Or should it be something someone must actively choose? Should family have a say, or should the wishes of the deceased always take priority?
One of the questions at the base of this is whether it's okay to force people to make altruistic decisions. Organ donation is a good thing, and I think that the world really benefits when it's the accepted baseline behavior. On the other hand, I can definetly understand why people might be uncomfortable with it. Respect for the dead is a very sacred thing for a lot of people. I think most major religions encourage organ donation, but there are exceptions, and wherever the line lays, I think consigning someone to eternal damnation (at least from their point of view, which is the one that matters) is past it.

So I think opt-out is a good option. If people feel strongly against it, they can put the small amount of effort to avoid it.

Of course, things like infrastructure and policy also affect donation rates. There are some opt-out countries that have very low rates of donation, so it's not a perfect solution. But I think it's a step in the right direction.
Agreed, I think opt-out is probably best.
What if I don’t want to have to pay a fee to opt out or have to opt out in the first place? What about people who have certain organs wouldn’t be suitable for transplant from diseases or habits like alcoholism? What if I start to drink, smoke, and shoot up to the point where my liver, lungs, and kidneys are useless to anyone?
I don't see why there would have to be a fee to opt-out, necessarily. The rest of those are presumably already issues with organ donors since there's no questioning/testing to opt in.
We’re talking about something that would be required by law. That would be so much labor to process everyone’s organ donation status that frankly, I’d hope some poor clerk gets payed just ‘cause I don’t want to give away my kidney.
Not necessarily. It could be handled similarly to the way it is now, along with the driver's license/ID process. No more labor than what we currently have, except that you have to specifically say no rather than specifically say yes. For minors, it would be reasonable to allow parents to decide should death occur.
So then you’d just be asked “would you prefer not to be an organ donor” instead of “would you prefer to be an organ donor”. The only change I see with what you’re saying is giving parents the power to choose the status for the minor.
Parents already have that power in most cases, no? And yes, that's pretty much how opt-out works. Being a donor is the default unless you make the choice to say no as opposed to not being a donor being the default.
I don’t remember my parents being asked anything when I said I wanted to be an organ donor. You trust people to not choose to take the option of not having to do something? That’s the only way that would be effective.

I guess I just don’t see how that’s any different. It’s just a different question. No options have been changed.
I'm thinking about minors who aren't yet old enough for a driver's license and don't have other forms of government-issued ID.

People are pretty lazy and often go with whatever is default. At a minimum, it would increase participation. A different option might be to not include the question at all such that the person must actually verbally request it during that process.
Would I have to provide a reason? And really, you don’t expect for tons of Americans to up and say “my organs, my choice” or “big gubment takin’ my organs”? If the trump administration decided to do something like this, you would gladly go along with it? It just seems like you’re putting too much faith into other people to “do the right thing” if you give them the option not to.

Your meal will be $6, including the $1 donation to St. Jude’s. Would you like to remove that donation, sir or ma’am?

Don’t get me wrong though. I’d love for more people to be organ donors.
What if I start to drink, smoke, and shoot up to the point where my liver, lungs, and kidneys are useless to anyone?

Interestingly, you are instantly disqualified from donating blood the minute you stick a needle in your own arm.
I imagine it's much the same with organ donation.
Oh yeah. Is it still that way if you’re gay? Cause I’m pretty sure I wasn’t supposed to give blood that one time.
We talked about this in philosophy (actually epistemology) class in high school. The phrasing of the question can change the answers pretty dramatically.
When you have to check a box to become an organ donor, that means the default option is to not donate. When you have to opt out, most people assume the standard is to be a donor, and feel more social pressure to do the 'right' thing and be selfless.
So the US government would implement something like this and there would be no fees or repurcussions for not wanting to be an organ donor and you feel like you can trust them to not want to make money off of the deal somehow? Seriously, imagine your current president trying something like this.
Oh yeah. Is it still that way if you’re gay? Cause I’m pretty sure I wasn’t supposed to give blood that one time.

I think the new rule is that you can't donate if you've had ~gay sex~ in the last year or had sex with someone who did.

*where ~gay sex~ is a policy that is intended to cover cis men w/ other cis men, but beyond that interpretations vary according to the place you go to donate.

Edit: Somewhat incredibly, this ban also applies to gay monogamous couples, even if they've been married for years. But if you hooked up with somebody in a bar bathroom last night you're good to go, as long as you aren't both men.
They screen for multiple different factors, and I don't think MSM is an unreasonable one, based on the statistics of HIV infection. Eliminating high-risk groups makes it safer for the recipients in general.
I agree that it's bogus that monogamous couples get caught in the net too, but more complex screening takes more time and money and is more likely to fail. Especially considering that if someone's cheating on their partner, they're not likely to mention it.
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