Compulsory organ donation

December 1, 2007 § 18 Comments

Most people would accept the offer of a diseased person’s organs if it could save their life. If your heart stops working you would probably want a new one.

But still, a lot of people are not willing to donate their organs after they’ve died. Even more people are not willing to donate some of their blood or bone marrow while still alive. Although they probably won’t say no to a blood transfusion, if that can save their life.

Blood for blood?
Red blood cells So wouldn’t it be fair to say that no one deserves to get somebody else’s organs or blood if they’re not prepared to donate this themselves?

We’re part of a society. We’re dependent on other people. Wouldn’t it be reasonable to make organ donation compulsory? Blood donation is a bit more complicated. If everyone had to give blood there would have to be a lot of testing going on. Now, people who donate are at least motivated for it, so they won’t “cheat” the guidelines. But only a few of the blood donors today are registered as bone marrow donors.

So, in order to save more lives, I propose:

  1. Everyone have to donate their organs after they’re dead. Exceptions are made for people who carry special cards stating that they’re not donors (for religious or other reasons).
  2. All blood donors have to be registered in the bone marrow registry. If someone need their bone marrow, the donor should be asked if he wants to donate or not. The donor should be informed of the consequences for the receiver if he don’t donate.

Maybe this is pushing the issue to the extreme, but there is some reason to this reasoning. Isn’ t there?

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§ 18 Responses to Compulsory organ donation

  • Karianne says:

    Oooo. Political too, huh? Pushy… :)

    I totally agree with you though. I am an organ donor in that I carry the card and have informed my family that I am, but I do think it should be opposite of what we do today – that you have to state that you DON’T want to donate your organs, not that you want to donate.

    I guess I should register in a bone marrow registry too, huh. It just sounds so painful…

    Good work on your site. You are soon ready to become a full blown wordpress blogger! :)

  • ohorgmo says:

    All you need to do to register as a bone marrow donor is take a blood test. That’s not too painful, is it ;)

  • ohorgmo says:

    And by the way – if you’d end up donating bone marrow, it’s most often done by harvesting stem cells from your blood nowadays. So basicly, it’s just like a lang blood transfusion.

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  • Valerie says:

    Clearly, what needs to be implemented in Western society today is an “opt-out” system of organ donation whereby a policy of presumed consent is in place so that all citizens will be registered on the donor list from birth. For those who have religious/personal reasons, ‘opting-out’ and completing an exemption form declaring you do not have the intention to donate your organ is the simple alternative.

    Directly because we are facing a major crisis today and the amount of organs (which can be transplanted to another in need) is severely lacking, such a system would clearly be the most effective solution to a problem which requires a rational and sustainable approach.

    By implementing an opt-out system, we will
    a) be greatly increasing the current supply of healthy, functioning organs
    b) rapidly resolve the crisis at hand AND
    c) work positively towards a sustainable future, whereby there will NOT be a lack of organs and organ donations, rather, a steady, healthy supply

    Opt-out is the way to go. There is a necessity for change, and today, the best solution we are presented with manifests itself as being the “opt-out” policy. The “opt-in” system currently in place does not work effectively. Logic implies we should change the system of today, to the system of the future – Opt-Out.

  • Valerie says:

    P.S. Love the site!

  • Øystein says:

    Thanks, Valerie!

    I totally agree with your to-the-point comment!

  • Anton says:

    I believe very strongly that the needs of the living have precedence over the needs of the dead. I believe that organ donation SHOULD be compulsory and Everyone should be a (potential)organ donor whether they want to or not.I understand that some people are just plain selfish and others might object due to irrational religious reasons but being a voluntary organ donor myself I seriously could care less about what people want after they’re dead since they arent around to protest if their wishes arent met.

    • Hans says:

      Hey men , what about me , I just realized that I’m not more interested in Living and I want so Badly to donate all of my organs and Give up living

  • Amelia says:

    If it were compulsory then it would not be a donation.

    I believe that organ donations and all other donations and transfusions and incredibly important, however one should not be obliged to donate if they do not want to. You will be taking away peoples rights to their body. The freedom that we value so very much today will be taken away. The gift of donation is a wonderful, uplifting choice but to change this generosity into a tax is taking a step too far. It is against good maners, freedom, fair play and natural justice.

    It is not okay and never will be.
    Organ donations are important but should not become compulsory.

  • Lauren says:

    I totally agree with Amelia. Organ donation is exactly what it says; donation, and no way should that right be taken away from us. We all understand that organ donation is critically low, and making the system cumpulsory would highly impact these figures, however i beileve that it would just cause some trouble and people debating for thier rights, so therefore i beileve that organ donation should stay with a persons choice.

    • Orla says:

      You stated: “however i believe that it would just cause some trouble and people debating for their rights…”
      I think that someone who is in need of a new organ and will die if they don’t receive it might think that “some trouble” is 100% necessary. I know I can’t speak for someone who needs a new organ but I believe that the process of making organ donation compulsory (or making it an opt-out process) wouldn’t be “some trouble” it would be saving lives and it would end up as an exertion of human power that would be beneficial to thousands of people.

  • Pauline says:

    I do agree that compulsory organ donation is taking away peoples rights to their bodies,as it seems that their bodies are owned by the countries but not themselves.
    But i think an opt-out system would solve the problem.As long as we have the right to choose whether our organs should be donated,a compulsory organ donation(following with an opt-out system) is acceptable and it is still a kind of donations.I will fully support it.
    People sometimes are just too lazy to fill in an organ donation card and that lets go lots of chance for those patients who are waiting in long-queue to have a transplant operation.
    If people really don’t want to be an organ donor,they should fill in the exemption form.This also enables them to think twice before opting out.

  • Patrick says:

    The compulsory part is not the DONATION, it’s the REGISTRATION to be part of a potential donor list. If called to become a donor, one should be able to opt out for health, religious, or other issues.

    The problem here is that people either aren’t aware that they could/should be registering, or they just can’t be bothered to take the time to do so. An opt-out system would take care of the problem. As long as the actual act of donating isn’t made mandatory (and really, how could it be?), there is no downside to this.

  • Adele says:

    hi im any 13 almost 14 but as soon as i can im going to register as an organ donor. i knew 2 people who if they had a transplant they would have lived but they never got one, so i thuink that everyone should have an opportunity for a new life.

    • Chrisani says:

      that’s so sweet of you but i think making it compulsory solves nothing people will become confused and die even over eat and get diabetes or hypertension it remains as is. This site is helping me with my communication studies project. oh am 18

  • I think that to donate one’s organs is a very charitable thing to do, however it should not be made compulsory. To make organ donation compulsory, is more likely to cause citizens to rebel. For those who do not wish to donate for whatever reason, or for those who are still on the edge of things, will me more likely to turn against it if organ donation were to become compulsory (example: protesting and rallying), and if the decission (or a like decission) were ever to become optional, they would not give it their support because they would feel that thier human rights along with personal dignity as human beings capable of making decissions in their best interest, and feel that the government, rather than being open and honest with them, is being devious and sneaky, hiding information about the donation process from them. It would probably be best for us to open up more to the public, and educate people about the benefits of donating their organs, rather than forcing it upon them. Also, several organ recipients have declared that by recieving an organ or tissue from a person who cared, and wanted to give them the gift of life, meant so much more than it would if people had merely been compelled to do it, without the knowledge of how much it could have changed another person’s life.
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article. I too am an organ donor.
    Good luck with your blog! It’s awesome!

  • newjaw says:

    i am 22 and i never signed the organ donor card because i thought it sounded scary. While i do think it ought to still be optional, now i am rethinking my decision, because last month, I got a new jawbone from a dead person who was a donor. Without them i would have had to rely on my hip bone and they say with hip graft there is always chronic pain. So i am thankful to this dead person whoever they are and i encourage everybody to think about sharing cuz when youre dead youre not gonna need any bones or organs right.

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