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439745.  Fri Nov 14, 2008 3:25 am Reply with quote

My liver is your liver.

439834.  Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:43 am Reply with quote

I don't get it. Doctors have been in favour, patients have been in favour, other countries do it with no problem, but a group of healthcare professionals, lawyers and ethicists are against it so it could be in risk of not going through?

And how the heck do you qualify as an ethicist?

439941.  Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:46 am Reply with quote

I don't get it.

With presumed consent, the doctors would still have to check with the family before using an organ and, if the family say "no", there's nothing the doctors can do about it.

The current system is so short of donors that doctors will ask the family, whether or not the patient has a donor card. If the family say "no", there's nothing the doctors can do about it.

So how exactly would the new system be different in any practical way?

440008.  Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:08 pm Reply with quote

If I understand it, the current position is that unless there's express permission given either through a donor card or by family then organs cannot be used.

As I understand it many organs are collected from accident victims and if there's no family around to as for permission then you can't use their organs and that's a waste.

The propsed system would allow for accident victims to have their organs donated unless they're opted out.

440113.  Fri Nov 14, 2008 4:12 pm Reply with quote

I saw a report that the House of Lords was against any change, but there was no indication as to how the reporter knew this. (A previous vote?)

Ion Zone
440131.  Fri Nov 14, 2008 4:34 pm Reply with quote

The problem here could be that it is hard to opt out if you're dead, as well as that the doctors try to remove all useful organs and have them in other people as soon as possible, so the family might not find out until a point where it would be tricky to get them back. It would solve a lot of problems, though.

440331.  Sat Nov 15, 2008 8:48 am Reply with quote

To me, it seems a very sensible idea, opposed by those who have little idea of how much pain families with someone on a waiting list for organs suffers. I myself have no idea, but i imagine the pain felt by families of someone on a waiting list is dreadful.
Thus i support Brown's move. It seems very sensible.

441495.  Tue Nov 18, 2008 6:24 am Reply with quote

This is an
article in The Times.

It is written by someone on the task force that recommended against presumed consent.

There are a number of strange ideas in this article.

For example

Trust in doctors took a battering after the scandals at Alder Hey and Bristol Children's Hospital. The Human Tissue Act was introduced to put consent at the centre of medical practice. Presumed consent would go against its principles.

I don't recall my trust in doctors taking a battering after these incidents. I thought the scandal was that there are still relatives who think that a dead body is more than a collection of chemicals.

Then this

If we wanted to opt out would we trust the State to safeguard our personal data or to enact our wishes? From the comments at the public events, the answer is “no”. Lack of trust forced the repeal of presumed consent legislation in Brazil and badly dented confidence in the French system after a single highly publicised case of mistaken organ removal.

It is alright to say no to the state safeguarding this personal data, but we are being forced (via ID cards) to let the state keep other data.

Has more weight been given to Brazil than to France which is our next door neighbour and didn't change because of one incident.

And then

This security is important given that a vocal minority think that those who opt out should get lower priority for transplants. If this view were widely expressed people might not let their true wishes be known.

A vocal minority is more important than any other minority?

It is my understanding that generally there is significant time between the need for an organ and when an organ is available – plenty of time for the opt out patient to change their mind.

There are several other points that annoy me in this article.

441587.  Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:58 am Reply with quote

npower1 wrote:
I don't recall my trust in doctors taking a battering after these incidents. I thought the scandal was that there are still relatives who think that a dead body is more than a collection of chemicals.

I personally think the Human Tissue Act is a very good idea. While some people believe dead bodies carry no sentimental value, there are a lot of people who do, and I think the act respects that.

Sure, it's introduced a lot of beaurocracy into medical research and anatomical study, but I think it was needed. Anything involving dissection or research on human tissue is very stringently controlled.

A question to people who think human tissue isn't anything more than a collection of cells and chemicals - you would probably be happy eating some cooked meat from a cow dissection, but would you agree to let any dead human tissue go anywhere near your mouth?

I am confident that there is a distinct difference between human cadavers and the bodies of other dead animals in most people's minds.

441659.  Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:25 pm Reply with quote

There's a difference between eating human flesh for the simple sake of eating it, and using human tissue for transplants that could save other people's lives.

There is plenty of evidence that in times of extreme hardship even the most "civilised" of people often resort to canibalism if it means survival.

441707.  Tue Nov 18, 2008 2:39 pm Reply with quote

I was merely arguing against the point that human flesh is just "a collection of chemicals" when clearly it is more than that.

As I understand it, the law is now such that, so long as a person has a donor card and has consented to donating their organs, the decision to transplant is up to the doctor's discretion, taking into account the wishes of the family, rather than the family having the final say.

To quote:

Human Tissue Act 2004 wrote:
One of the changes relating to consent will be that the wishes of the deceased will take precedence. This may have particular importance when organs of the deceased are being considered for donation for transplantation. It will be lawful to take organs for transplantation where the deceased consented before his death.
However, this does not mean it will be obligatory, and practitioners may decide against it for a variety of reasons. Such decisions will need to be made on a case by case basis and good practice will ensure that relatives are consulted.

444424.  Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:49 am Reply with quote

I am all for organ donation: as far as I am concerned they can have the lot. I might put the caveat on it that all my organs have to go to one person, in which case it will be less a donation and more a hostile takeover.

Seriously though, my one concern is that if, say, I was in a vegetative state and the docs knew I was willing to donate organs, they may well just let me die. But how many times do you hear of people waking up after X years in a coma? Probably daft, as I would be considerably past caring if they did pull the plug, and the proportion of people waking up is probably tiny, but there we are.

444833.  Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:08 pm Reply with quote

But what kind of life would you have after X years in a coma?

445783.  Wed Nov 26, 2008 4:15 am Reply with quote

Depends on a) how long I was in the coma for and b) how complete my recovery was.

The possibility exists that I could wake up completely recovered in a futuristic utopian society with hover-cars, weather control, and compulsory lycra outfits for society's better looking members, in which case, wake me up!


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