Human Exceptionalism

Allow Organ Preservation After Unexpected Death

More than 100,000 people are on the organ waiting list hoping and praying for a transplant before their time runs out.

The excruciating waits have led to unethical proposals to gain more organs, such as allowing the cognitively devastated to be killed for their organs, and unwise approaches like “presumed consent.”

Now, at long last, the Journal of the American Medical Association has published a proposal that would allow more organs to be obtained successfully, and without throwing away crucial ethical protections or breaking solemnly made promises.

The idea is to take actions to preserve the viability of organs of those who die unexpectedly in a sudden event–particularly if the dead person had already agreed to be an organ donor on their driver’s license. From, “A Potential Solution to the Shortage of Solid Organs for Transplant:

One path would be for those who have indicated prior willingness to donate (eg, joined a donor registry), which more likely would lead authorized persons to permit preservation to effectuate the decedent’s wishes.

The other path would be for those for whom evidence is absent. In the former, authorized persons can be asked to “affirm” the decedent’s intention to donate. In cases in which there is no evidence, family members or authorized persons should be asked to “permit” not donation but preservation. It might be too difficult for some family members to provide full authorization for donation in the context of a sudden unexpected death when the decedent’s desires regarding donation are unknown.

This works for me. I might even go farther by permitting organ preservation for registered donors before family consent.

Be that as it may, I think this is a good proposal that does not sacrifice ethics or system trust on the altar of increasing the organ supply.  Organs would still only be taken from the truly dead, and there is little likelihood that family members could think their loved one was treated as an organ farm instead of a living patient.

I say, give it a try.

Most Popular

White House

For Democrats, the Party’s Over

If the Democrats are really tempted by impeachment, bring it on. Since the day after the 2016 election they have been threatening this, placing their chips on the Russian-collusion fantasy and then on the phantasmagoric charade of obstruction of justice. The attorney general accurately gave the ingredients of the ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Worst Cover-Up of All Time

President Donald Trump may be guilty of many things, but a cover-up in the Mueller probe isn’t one of them. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, attempting to appease forces in the Democratic party eager for impeachment, is accusing him of one, with all the familiar Watergate connotations. The charge is strange, ... Read More
PC Culture

TV Before PC

Affixing one’s glance to the rear-view mirror is usually as ill-advised as staring at one’s own reflection. Still, what a delight it was on Wednesday to see a fresh rendition of “Those Were the Days,” from All in the Family, a show I haven’t watched for nearly 40 years. This time it was Woody Harrelson ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Democrats’ Other Class War

There is a class war going on inside the Democratic party. Consider these two cris de couer: Writing in the New York Times under the headline “America’s Cities Are Unlivable — Blame Wealthy Liberals,” Farhad Manjoo argues that rich progressives have, through their political domination of cities such as ... Read More

The Deepfake of Nancy Pelosi

You’ve almost made it to a three-day weekend! Making the click-through worthwhile: A quick note about how National Review needs your help, concerns about “deepfakes” of Nancy Pelosi, one of the most cringe-inducing radio interviews of all time, some news about where to find me and the book in the near ... Read More