(Continue reading...)The last time I renewed my driver's license, the clerk at the DMV asked if she should check me off as an organ donor. I said no. She looked at me and asked again. I said, "No. Just check the box that says, 'I am a heartless, selfish bastard.'"Becoming an organ donor seems like a win-win situation. Some 3.3 people on the transplant waiting list will have their lives extended by your gift (3.3 is the average yield of solid organs per donor). You're a hero, and at no real cost, apparently.But what are you giving up when you check the donor box on your license? Your organs, of course—but much more. You're also giving up your right to informed consent. Doctors don't have to tell you or your relatives what they will do to your body during an organ harvest operation because you'll be dead, with no legal rights.
Primum non nocere. It seems to me that harvesting organs from supposedly brain dead patients would be harmful to someone who could still feel pain, and might not even be as "dead" as doctors might have originally thought. I believe, in their haste to procure lucrative, potentially life-saving organs, doctors are in denial about their poor (some may say, "slap-dash") definition of brain death.
I think the medical community owes me the courtesy to make sure I'm really dead (or at least feeling no pain) before they start cutting me up to harvest my vital organs. I'm going to un-check the organ donor box on my driver's license until such time as they will. Don't call me a heartless bastard when it's the vulture doctors who are causing the problem.