Before I begin to discuss this topic I would like to emphasise that I am NOT against organ donation in ANY form, as a matter of fact I encourage it greatly. But let me explain why I will be opting out of this new Government scheme the first chance I get.
Until recently this was a policy I would have actually backed. I thought what better way to increase success in the UK’s organ transplant system than to have the necessary “material” to perform these operations. Let’s be honest there will be many people who aren’t interested whether their name is on the list or not and will likely decide not to opt-out. Therefore I don’t doubt it will increase provision, but does that really make it a moral case?
I’ve become a lot more Libertarian in my beliefs as of late, I find it hypocritical for the Government to still consider this a “donation system” when the truth of the matter is that if you are already shortlisted for something without your prior consent then it does not count as donation, it’s conscription through and through. Backers of the plan will tell you “but you can opt-out”, well I’m sorry but as a matter of principle no one should have to put themselves through the effort of defending their own body from the knife of the State. It should be vice versa where the people hold their Government’s feet to the fire. This plan is a breach of individualism and emphasises a Collectivist ideology where everyone is brought into the morgue like fresh meat in the abattoir. I’ll admit the film ‘Repo Men’ comes to mind when thinking of this topic, although in that American film it’s a situation where organs are a bought and sold commodity I still think it applies in a dark humored kind of way.
I like many others have donated bags of clothes to charity before because I don’t need them and I see no point in them going to waste either in a landfill or my wardrobe, I don’t expect men with guns to be emptying said wardrobe because I didn’t tick the little box that said I would prefer they didn’t do this. It’s up to us as individuals when we wish to provide our services for people or causes and I believe that more can be done to encourage people to give generously with a charitable heart rather than the authoritarian route which gives more power than I’m comfortable with to those above us.
Sally Johnson of NHS Blood and Transplant said she hoped the consultation would “drive a national conversation about organ donation” and I couldn’t agree more, at least this will get a conversation going. It will give people a chance to express their beliefs and now that we’re involved directly it will likely become a more thoughtful topic for everyone. That’s an outcome I can back.
But before anyone has the chance to label me any name under the sun for this I would like to emphasise that this entirely a matter of principle with the Government and not out of hatred for donation, one can be against the scheme but not against organ donation itself they are two different topics. I just believe firmly that it’s up to me and every other citizen respectively how and when we do it. Therefore out of protest I plan to opt-out of the scheme and at a later date when ready shall voluntarily donate my organs as I’ve always planned to.