Human Exceptionalism

Organ Donor Cards to Overrule Advance Directives?

Bioethicists Art Caplan and Michael A. Devita have written an important column warning against plans that are afoot to increase the organ supply, but which if enacted, would instead be more likely to undermine the already thin crust of trust the people have in the organ procurement system.

Apparently, a proposal is being crafted that would alter the terms of the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, a “model law” which states often follow in crafting their respective public policies. The proposal would give priority to the signing of organ donor cards. Caplan and Divita explain what this could mean: Their proposal, which is under consideration by states, is that organ donation consent (on a driver’s license, for instance) be allowed to override a person’s living will, advance directive or even physician orders. The proposed language in the revision states, “measures necessary to ensure the medical suitability of an organ for transplantation or therapy may not be withheld or withdrawn from the prospective donor.” What this means is that if you say you are willing to donate your organs, your advance directive, living will and physician’s orders are in trouble. In other words, if these recommendations become law and you sign an organ donation card, preserving your organs could become the primary consideration in determining your medical care–which could either prevent you from receiving treatment you might want, or be forced to accept interventions you would not want.

This is nuts. If people ever come to feel that their organs might be seen as more important than their own medical welfare, they will rip up their organ donation cards en masse. Good for Caplan and Devita for bringing this important matter to public light.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Can Joe Biden Pardon Himself?

John Yoo argues that once he’s president, he can. He mentions the contrary possibility that the pardon power mentioned in the Constitution was understood to refer to a power to pardon someone other than the pardoner. He does not, however, defeat this possibility. He stacks the deck by presenting the argument ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Can Joe Biden Pardon Himself?

John Yoo argues that once he’s president, he can. He mentions the contrary possibility that the pardon power mentioned in the Constitution was understood to refer to a power to pardon someone other than the pardoner. He does not, however, defeat this possibility. He stacks the deck by presenting the argument ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Biden’s Unhelpful Mask Stance

On the menu today: Joe Biden brings his own problems to the national stage, declaring that he wants Americans to wear masks until the end of his first 100 days in office -- well after the 100 million most vulnerable Americans will be vaccinated! -- and warns that the nation’s death toll from the pandemic will ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Biden’s Unhelpful Mask Stance

On the menu today: Joe Biden brings his own problems to the national stage, declaring that he wants Americans to wear masks until the end of his first 100 days in office -- well after the 100 million most vulnerable Americans will be vaccinated! -- and warns that the nation’s death toll from the pandemic will ... Read More
Culture

Fifteen Things That Caught My Eye Today: Ethiopia, A One-Year-Old Dies in D.C., Archbishop Chaput on Biden and Communion & More (December 4, 2020)

(1) Washington Post: 1-year-old Carmelo Duncan is the latest victim of gun violence in D.C. as homicides hit a 15-year high Dozens of mourners gathered Thursday night in the block where Carmelo was killed. They offered prayers for his family and for other families that have lost loved ones to gun violence, the ... Read More
Culture

Fifteen Things That Caught My Eye Today: Ethiopia, A One-Year-Old Dies in D.C., Archbishop Chaput on Biden and Communion & More (December 4, 2020)

(1) Washington Post: 1-year-old Carmelo Duncan is the latest victim of gun violence in D.C. as homicides hit a 15-year high Dozens of mourners gathered Thursday night in the block where Carmelo was killed. They offered prayers for his family and for other families that have lost loved ones to gun violence, the ... Read More
White House

Trump’s Disgraceful Endgame

President Trump said the other day that he’d leave office if he loses the vote of the Electoral College on December 14. This is not the kind of assurance presidents of the United States typically need to make, but it was noteworthy given Trump’s disgraceful conduct since losing his bid for reelection to ... Read More
White House

Trump’s Disgraceful Endgame

President Trump said the other day that he’d leave office if he loses the vote of the Electoral College on December 14. This is not the kind of assurance presidents of the United States typically need to make, but it was noteworthy given Trump’s disgraceful conduct since losing his bid for reelection to ... Read More
Media

Linda Greenhouse’s Grievance Politics

The irony appears not to have dawned on Linda Greenhouse as she typed up her latest column, supposedly about Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo and oddly entitled “Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s Choice.” One might think that Greenhouse, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and New York Times mainstay ... Read More
Media

Linda Greenhouse’s Grievance Politics

The irony appears not to have dawned on Linda Greenhouse as she typed up her latest column, supposedly about Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo and oddly entitled “Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s Choice.” One might think that Greenhouse, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and New York Times mainstay ... Read More