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[Australia] Opt-out organ donation

DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdooryou're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
edited June 2008 in Debate and/or Discourse
been reading in the paper over the past couple weeks about the proposal put forth by the WA government for a switch in the way our organ donation system works.

Currently, the system we have is an "opt-in" system. If you wish to become an organ donor, you register with Medicare, and then in the event of your death, your organs are made available.

What the government is proposing is changing to an "opt-out" system, where everyone is automatically considered to be a donor unless they opt out.

The reasoning behind this is that there are probably a lot of people who, although they would be perfectly happy to donate their organs, just never get around to registering as a donor.

Personally, I think this is a really good idea. I'm registered as a donor, and I know a couple of my friends who expressed idle interest in becoming a donor when I mentioned I was considering it, but they probably never registered.

What do you guys think?

Dhalphir on
Tube-san wrote:
I apologise for my rudeness desu.
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Posts

  • ChurchChurch Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    This'll be fun when an Orthodox Jew "never gets around to" opting out.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive Damn these electric sex pants! Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    An excellent idea, and one that more countries should adopt. I'm a donor, but I probably wouldn't have been registered if I'd have had to do it on my own as opposed to getting it as as part of my drivers' licence application.

    Another successful post, thanks to the power of Spacestar Ordering™!
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I'd say it's probably better off to make it ridiculously easy to become an organ donor in the states. Almost any form of ID I've applied for lets me decide if I want to be one.

    PSN: allenquid
  • devoirdevoir Registered User
    edited May 2008
    I think this is a good idea. Putting the onus to opt out will hopefully save lives.

    I know that I want to donate my organs, I just haven't had the paperwork done. I donate blood and have got the paperwork together to donate bone marrow.

  • evilbobevilbob Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I would really love this to happen but have a feeling it won't.

    evilbob wrote: »
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  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    edited May 2008
    i read the opinions page in the paper today

    there was a letter, that, paraphrased, said

    My body is my own. No government or body has the right to force me to part with my organs, it is one of the few unalienable rights we should have

    This seems to be the prevailing argument that all people not in favour of the opt-out favour.
    They obviously haven't considered the blindingly obvious counter-point to that.

    OPT OUT.

    Tube-san wrote:
    I apologise for my rudeness desu.
  • Dublo7Dublo7 Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Good idea.

    I'm already registered as an organ donor.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    edited May 2008
    its interesting that every single person already registered as an organ donor supports it

    a friend of my mother's was ranting to me today, saying "well I WAS going to become an organ donor but if they bring in this compulsory system, I'll opt out just on principle!". I felt like punching her. Instead I asked why she felt the need to deny people life-saving organs "on principle". She didn't respond.

    Tube-san wrote:
    I apologise for my rudeness desu.
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Quid wrote: »
    I'd say it's probably better off to make it ridiculously easy to become an organ donor in the states. Almost any form of ID I've applied for lets me decide if I want to be one.

    I'd go with this. And include an annoying/guilt inducing 'would you like me to check the organ donor box on the back' question by the bureaucrat at the DMV/courthouse. While the principle is wonderful in theory, there are issues that would arise from people who didn't know to/care to opt out and really liked their kidney. Or are really religious and want to be buried with all their organs. Making it require virtually no effort to opt in avoids all those problems.

    And I am an organ donor.

    tea-1.jpg
  • QliphothQliphoth Registered User
    edited May 2008
    I like the idea. We have a ridiculously low organ donation rate as it is and giant waiting lists. As long as everyone is made aware of the change and it is easy to opt out i really don't see any major problems.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Church wrote: »
    This'll be fun when an Orthodox Jew "never gets around to" opting out.
    Fun for whom? The dead corpse or the people whose lives will be saved by its donated organs?

  • Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS
    edited May 2008
    I'd favor an opt-out program just because fuck religious people.

    Spoiler:
  • ChurchChurch Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Azio wrote: »
    Church wrote: »
    This'll be fun when an Orthodox Jew "never gets around to" opting out.
    Fun for whom? The dead corpse or the people whose lives will be saved by its donated organs?

    Judaism has some issues with organ transplants. Some sects say it's only okay if it's done after the person is deceased defined by a lack of activity in the brain stem, and some condemn it entirely.

    So, to answer your question, fun for whoever has to clean up the mess when people complain that their religion is being persecuted.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    moniker wrote: »
    While the principle is wonderful in theory, there are issues that would arise from people who didn't know to/care to opt out and really liked their kidney.
    What does it matter? They don't like their kidney anymore because they're dead.

  • joshua1joshua1 Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    even if you are registered donor, i think next of kin can veto your choice after you die. Say i die and the hospital wants my juicy juicy eyes, my mum can tell them to shove it cause she wants an open casket at my funeral.

  • Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS
    edited May 2008
    joshua1 wrote: »
    even if you are registered donor, i think next of kin can veto your choice after you die. Say i die and the hospital wants my juicy juicy eyes, my mum can tell them to shove it cause she wants an open casket at my funeral.

    Such a morbid practice.

    Either way, I hear some people have prosthetic eyes nowadays. Shouldn't your eyes be closed anyway? Can't they just drop a pair of marbles in and flip your lids down and call it a day?

    Spoiler:
  • reVersereVerse Never odd or even Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Church wrote: »
    Azio wrote: »
    Church wrote: »
    This'll be fun when an Orthodox Jew "never gets around to" opting out.
    Fun for whom? The dead corpse or the people whose lives will be saved by its donated organs?

    Judaism has some issues with organ transplants. Some sects say it's only okay if it's done after the person is deceased defined by a lack of activity in the brain stem, and some condemn it entirely.

    So, to answer your question, fun for whoever has to clean up the mess when people complain that their religion is being persecuted.

    Yes, it'll be terrible for people with religious convictions against donating organs. If only there was some sort of system where, oh I don't know, you could opt out of the whole organ donation thing if they really find it so abhorrent.

  • Road BlockRoad Block Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I'm in favor of opt out. There is no decent argument against it and those that try have a tendency to look like retards. Which inevitably makes my want to yell at them. "LOOK YOU RETARDS OPT OUT IF IT BOTHERS YOU!"

    As long as people who do wish to opt out can do so quickly and easily I don't see a problem.

  • Dublo7Dublo7 Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I'd favor an opt-out program just because fuck religious people.
    My Catholic parents went ape shit when I told them I had ticked the organ donor box, on my latest license renewal. I made them see how selfish it was of them to say that I shouldn't donate my organs, because their religion says it's wrong.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • TheRealBadgerTheRealBadger Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Especially if the next-of-kin-veto point still stands. Even if someone 'never got round' to opting out, their family could just call it in later on. It would be pretty hard for them to complain if they also had a right to say no and decided not to.

    Edit: that was in response to road block

    (but you probably already guessed that)

  • ChurchChurch Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    reVerse wrote: »
    Church wrote: »
    Azio wrote: »
    Church wrote: »
    This'll be fun when an Orthodox Jew "never gets around to" opting out.
    Fun for whom? The dead corpse or the people whose lives will be saved by its donated organs?

    Judaism has some issues with organ transplants. Some sects say it's only okay if it's done after the person is deceased defined by a lack of activity in the brain stem, and some condemn it entirely.

    So, to answer your question, fun for whoever has to clean up the mess when people complain that their religion is being persecuted.

    Yes, it'll be terrible for people with religious convictions against donating organs. If only there was some sort of system where, oh I don't know, you could opt out of the whole organ donation thing if they really find it so abhorrent.

    Accomodating for religious people has never stopped them from bitching before.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2008
    I'm cool with it, although I wonder... a lot of people would be rejected as donors for one thing or another due to health issues. Opt-ing in people with undiagnosed organ problems that would have killed them in later life is going to cause problems if those organs aren't tested for faults before being shoved into someone. You'd have to start screening all the donated organs, surely? And the tests often take many hours, while organs need to be transplanted very quickly. I'm seeing a hiccup there.

    Mind you, that's happened even with opt-in systems. Anyone remember that kid in... Long Island, was it? They thought he'd died of meningitis, and several organs went out to people, and then those people all got what actually killed him - a rapid-onset cancer. At least one of the four died as well D: Also, I suspect that with undiagnosed genetic problems, the risk would go up in transplants involving a combination of very young donors and recipients and later-onset disorders, because the odds of catching them early are lower.

    tmsig.jpg
  • QliphothQliphoth Registered User
    edited May 2008
    The Cat wrote: »
    You'd have to start screening all the donated organs, surely?.

    Aren't all donated organs screened already? even with the opt in program plenty of people that try to donate could still have problems that stop them from donating.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • KageraKagera Imitating the worst people. Since 2004Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    You just totally reminded me of the Scrubs episode where the patients die because the donor had rabies.

    I would think the net benefits of having more organs to distribute would outweigh the consequences. Especially if the donor had a decent medical history.

    My neck, my back, my FUPA and my crack.
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2008
    Qliphoth wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    You'd have to start screening all the donated organs, surely?.

    Aren't all donated organs screened already? even with the opt in program plenty of people that try to donate could still have problems that stop them from donating.

    Yeah, but with opt-in you can test further ahead of time, and people who know they have a family history of, say, cystic fibrosis, tend to avoid registering. If the screening tests only took an hour or two it'd be no problem, but I know some of them take up to a full day.

    tmsig.jpg
  • Track NineTrack Nine Registered User
    edited May 2008
    I'm probably going to regret voicing an opinion on this one, because we had this same debate in the UK a while back and the debate seems to quickly devolve into religion bashing, high horses and condemnation.

    That said, I can't agree with the idea of an opt-out system. Organ donation is a gift, and a hell of a gift at that given that someone has chosen to give up their body an allow it to be given away to others after their death. An opt-in system, by default, respects the wishes of those who, for whatever reason, don't wish to be donars while allowing those who do to make the choice to make a gift.

    An opt-out system by default doesn't pay attention to the possible wishes or beliefs of the individual and assumes a right to their bodies from birth, unless that person has chosen to claim their rights to their own body. People shouldn't have to worry about their body being respected after death (both for themself and their relatives), that's a basic right everyone should be entitled to.

    Then of course there's the potential for "accidents". Someone dies, their organs are needed urgently and lest we not forget that there is a very small window availible to harvest a person's organs. The relatives of the deceased can't be contacted immediately and there's no opt-out card on the body. Organs are taken, the person's possible beliefs are ignored by default, and then when the relatives do arrive they find their loved one's body mutilated.

    If you want to increase donations, then you need to make is easier for people to make the choice to donate and better highlight the value of doing so. Organ donation should always be a choice, not an obligation.

  • desperaterobotsdesperaterobots Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I'm not an organ donor, purely because I haven't been capable of stepping over the existential gap to thinking about how I'd like to divvy up my body when I stop existing. I'm all for an opt-out system where I'm instead forced to overcome the stigma of being a selfish asshole by wanting everything inside me when I rot.

    On the other hand, I'm sure all my internal organs will be ravaged by diabetes-related complications by the time I die, so either way, I'm likely going into the ground whole.

  • desperaterobotsdesperaterobots Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Track Nine wrote: »
    I'm probably going to regret voicing an opinion on this one, because we had this same debate in the UK a while back and the debate seems to quickly devolve into religion bashing, high horses and condemnation.

    That said, I can't agree with the idea of an opt-out system. Organ donation is a gift, and a hell of a gift at that given that someone has chosen to give up their body an allow it to be given away to others after their death. An opt-in system, by default, respects the wishes of those who, for whatever reason, don't wish to be donars while allowing those who do to make the choice to make a gift.

    An opt-out system by default doesn't pay attention to the possible wishes or beliefs of the individual and assumes a right to their bodies from birth, unless that person has chosen to claim their rights to their own body. People shouldn't have to worry about their body being respected after death (both for themself and their relatives), that's a basic right everyone should be entitled to.

    Then of course there's the potential for "accidents". Someone dies, their organs are needed urgently and lest we not forget that there is a very small window availible to harvest a person's organs. The relatives of the deceased can't be contacted immediately and there's no opt-out card on the body. Organs are taken, the person's possible beliefs are ignored by default, and then when the relatives do arrive they find their loved one's body mutilated.

    If you want to increase donations, then you need to make is easier for people to make the choice to donate and better highlight the value of doing so. Organ donation should always be a choice, not an obligation.

    But surely it is still a choice, when you have the option to opt-out? I just can't wrap my head around the weird idea that after I die I still require all my bits, because otherwise I wont fill the entire urn, or whatever. Accidents, woop-de-doo, the potential benefits surely outweigh the potential risks?

  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2008
    I'm not an organ donor, purely because I haven't been capable of stepping over the existential gap to thinking about how I'd like to divvy up my body when I stop existing. I'm all for an opt-out system where I'm instead forced to overcome the stigma of being a selfish asshole by wanting everything inside me when I rot.

    On the other hand, I'm sure all my internal organs will be ravaged by diabetes-related complications by the time I die, so either way, I'm likely going into the ground whole.

    I'm kind of in the same boat with you. disease-transfer concerns aside. Filled out the form, signed it, felt squicky, 'forgot' to mail it. Granted, no one will want my liver for anything but government-funded scare ads, but that's still me sucking right there. And now the form isn't handed to you with your driver's licence anymore, so its all too much effort. This is one of the few ways the government can actually force me to be less of an asshole without me losing anything :P

    Here's a thought: do you think its logical to extend this to mandatory blood donations, or is that too different? You're not dead when they happen, for one thing.

    tmsig.jpg
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    The Cat wrote: »
    Here's a thought: do you think its logical to extend this to mandatory blood donations, or is that too different? You're not dead when they happen, for one thing.

    My opinion is "fuck no". It's one thing to do things to my body after I'm dead, it's another thing to make me do things with my body while I'm still living.

    What they should do, is make donating blood not be a complete pain in the ass from every conceivable angle. We need like, stalls on the sidewalk so you can be all "oh hey, I should donate some blood today" rather then plan it and all that other crap.

  • KageraKagera Imitating the worst people. Since 2004Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I'd probably donate blood if my veins weren't so hard to find that nurses have to take multiple stabs at me just to find one.

    Even then sometimes they have to go through my hand. D:

    My neck, my back, my FUPA and my crack.
  • DetharinDetharin Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Oh this will end badly.

    First i just want to say Opt out is bullshit. I should not need to tell you to keep your hands off my organs. As previously stated, what if their is a situation where organs need to be harvested NOW, and there is no way to determine the status of the body. Under Opt in they leave you the hell alone, under Opt out, they harvest and apologize.

    Second if your an organ donor, situation depending, they may not work quite as hard to save your life. I am not saying its common, but i am saying it happens. With this policy hospitals will actually be rewarded for failing to save lives. If someone dies suddenly they have this crop of organs that they can charge insurance companies to extract, store, and transplant. When someone has to make a decision whether to undertake a risky treatment that might save the patient but render certain organs non viable for transplantation it becomes a conflict of interest. Under the system you knew the patients wishes and would act to either save their life, or their organs. Under the new system saving the patient will cost the hospital money.

    My mother knows my wishes on organ donation. Since if there is ever a case where it comes up they are going to ask her I know my wishes will be respected. If I do not live long enough for them to locate her, oh well. Better that than being let die because someone needs a liver.

    If I was kidnapped, woke up in a lab, told they were going to replace my vocal cords with those of Tony Jay, and lock me in a sound booth until the day I die I would look those bastards right in the eye and say "Alright you sons of bitches lets do this. This one is for the children."
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2008
    hoo boy. I wish i wasn't opposed to the ignore function in principle. Seeing 'TEH DOKTORS WILL STEEEL UR ORGANZ FUR MONEYS' here is pretty depressing.

    Pro-tip: medicos don't get a free case of beer for every cornea yanked from a motorcycle accident victim.

    tmsig.jpg
  • Track NineTrack Nine Registered User
    edited May 2008
    But surely it is still a choice, when you have the option to opt-out? I just can't wrap my head around the weird idea that after I die I still require all my bits, because otherwise I wont fill the entire urn, or whatever. Accidents, woop-de-doo, the potential benefits surely outweigh the potential risks?

    Not quite. It is only given that your body is yours as long as you live, but no choice is taken on your part to give the organs after death - instead they are claimed. No cognitive choice is made on your part and unless you are made distinctly aware of the organ donation program and it's implications for you, then no choice is ever made.

    The choice is instead, that you have to lay claim to your own body and in turn choose not to "donate". I put donate in quotes because donation requires a choice to give, rather than a choice not to deny which is what a opt-out system comes down to.

    Additionally, whereas the choice at present is considered a noble and admirable action, under an opt-out system the choice becomes stigmatized and selfish, regarded as backward and ultimately placing a pressure on people not to choose. In turn the organ donation system takes on a image of grave robbing, state interferance and cold opportunism rather than it's current one of respect and goodwill.

    As for what you do with your own bits - that's your choice and one which under the current system you don't have to take until you're comfortable with it. There's nothing wrong with holding an attatchment to your bits and you don't need any specific reason to want to keep them. They're yours to give or they're yours to keep and nobody has any claim better than your own.

  • KageraKagera Imitating the worst people. Since 2004Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Detharin wrote: »
    Second if your an organ donor, situation depending, they may not work quite as hard to save your life. I am not saying its common, but i am saying it happens. With this policy hospitals will actually be rewarded for failing to save lives. If someone dies suddenly they have this crop of organs that they can charge insurance companies to extract, store, and transplant. When someone has to make a decision whether to undertake a risky treatment that might save the patient but render certain organs non viable for transplantation it becomes a conflict of interest. Under the system you knew the patients wishes and would act to either save their life, or their organs. Under the new system saving the patient will cost the hospital money.

    That's some hardcore paranoia there man.

    You're basically saying anyone in an opt-in system will receive a lower level of treatment, do you have evidence of this happening?

    My neck, my back, my FUPA and my crack.
  • devoirdevoir Registered User
    edited May 2008
    The problem is that the vast majority of people who want to opt out don't want to feel like they're opting out and depriving someone of organs. They don't want to feel the pressure when they make that choice. The system as it is keeps them warm and fuzzy, with the rest of the crowd, rather than "those people who are selfish".

    At least that's the vibe I'm getting, regardless of the 'other' reasons that get stated.

  • THAC0THAC0 Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Wait a minute. Whats going on in here? Dead people can own stuff now?

  • Track NineTrack Nine Registered User
    edited May 2008
    THAC0 wrote: »
    Wait a minute. Whats going on in here? Dead people can own stuff now?

    Oh, boy.. here we go.

  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Track Nine wrote: »
    That said, I can't agree with the idea of an opt-out system. Organ donation is a gift, and a hell of a gift at that given that someone has chosen to give up their body an allow it to be given away to others after their death. An opt-in system, by default, respects the wishes of those who, for whatever reason, don't wish to be donars while allowing those who do to make the choice to make a gift.

    I'm always uncomfortable with this argument, because it means that pool of transplant organs available is being deliberately limited to those who have actually sat down and thought about what they want to happen after they die. Given the scarcity of organs, I think it's reasonable to say that the proportion of people who do is pretty small.

    I'm hesitant to raise the question, because I can see a lot of high-horsery and appeal to emotion stemming from it, but I think it's reasonable to ask if your organs, once you die, are still yours?

  • KageraKagera Imitating the worst people. Since 2004Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    devoir wrote: »
    The problem is that the vast majority of people who want to opt out don't want to feel like they're opting out and depriving someone of organs. They don't want to feel the pressure when they make that choice. The system as it is keeps them warm and fuzzy, with the rest of the crowd, rather than "those people who are selfish".

    At least that's the vibe I'm getting, regardless of the 'other' reasons that get stated.

    But that's exactly what they're doing.

    Hell, I don't see how opting-out would be any harder than going to a government website, printing out a form, and mailing it in.

    Those who aren't donors can be kept in a database that hospitals can check beforehand so as curb mistakes.

    Hell it could be something even their GP knows so they can be contacted.

    And if no identification can be obtained well just default to 'don't harvest' if you want to ensure people's rights aren't violated.

    My neck, my back, my FUPA and my crack.
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