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Yet another way the BBC opposes self-ownership

The BBC thinks the state should own your organs.

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27 comments to Yet another way the BBC opposes self-ownership

  • Hah, If the state wants my organs they’ll have to pry them out of my cold, dead….. ah, hang on. Hadn’t thought that through.

  • RAB

    A neighbour of mine died of a cancer so rare last year, that she decided to give her body to science

    The first I have ever known to be frank.

    Hope she has helped in some way (apart from dieing)
    But I doubt it.

    She, or selected bits of her are probably getting on or off an London Omnibus as I type.

    My bottom line is
    Save my ass first!

    Dont think of secondary uses
    until all hope for me, is gone.

    Anything else gets to be slack thinking.

    So I have a fuck off, leave my bits alone, card
    in my wallet.
    Not a welcome to all your diseased family, KFC big bucket, organ donors card.

  • Dom

    How, exactly, do dead people choose to “opt out”? Is it a matter of having a card in your wallet, like RAB has? What if I didn’t carry my wallet at the time?

    And if a doctor is capable, as the story says, of hastening my death to reap my organs, why would he not also throw my card away? Hmmmm?

  • The estate of the deceased should charge the state for the organs.

  • RAB

    Well it’s not just down to what’s in my wallet.
    Having gone so far, my relatives will have been informed of my wishes.
    If my heart turns up on the NHS sushi menu somewhere, they are going to get pissed off and sue.

    Besides Dom, god help me, I still have a little faith in humanity!

  • Kevin B

    It’s quite simple. If a Jeremy or a Gavin needs a new liver, why should some peasant who happens to have the right match be allowed to selfishly hang on to theirs, let alone drag a perfectly good organ off to the crematorium.

    After all, they need a working liver to go to the right dinner parties and drink the right wine so that they can bring you all the news you need to know.

  • John

    Ah, but Ted, that would defeat the whole object of the exercise – to gain yet more power privilege for the ruling class, whose members and hirelings you can bet will be the principle recipients one way or another.
    If they were really so concerned about the shortage of organs then they would indeed allow their sale and they would permit donors to name any category of recipient they choose – colour, creed, class or even football team.
    But they would rather destroy useful organs than allow that.

  • Bite my shiny metal ass, BBC! But that’s all I’m willing to let you do with it.

  • Allowing donor’s families to collect a fee for the donation (previously authorized by the deceased, of course) would increase availability exponentially. Many people are stunned and demoralized by the costs associated with the death of a loved one, and, apologies to St. Paul, it would take the tiniest bit of the sting out of it all.
    The donation would need to be at market rate and not some random pittance determined by statists who both hate your guts but want your guts to, apparently.
    I can’t believe the BBC is so FUBAR. I thought only the American press could be that stupid.

  • the other rob

    At the risk of veering slightly OT, I found that this comment on the original article, by one mdjcole (who is not known to me) struck a chord:

    I do wish the right would not concede its greatest ideological weapon by allowing socialists and collectivists to acquire the epithet ‘liberal’ and piggy-back their totalitarian programmes on the positive associations that word has built up.

    If you want to ban me from smoking in a privately owned pub, you are not a liberal. If you want to seize my business and have it run by the government, you are not a liberal. If you want to take my wages and give them to other people, you are not a liberal. If you want to take my organs without my consent like some kind of bizarre modern grave robber then by God you are not a liberal.

  • Gabriel

    the other rob.
    It’s on our to do list, right after sorting out the whole Vietnam scenario.

    Anyway, the British Liberals always included a large prohibitionist element; so much so that the Tory party was regularly accused of being in the pocket of Big Brewers. Obviously they wouldn’t have supported this latest monstrosity, but hardly anyone of that century would have either.

  • Part of the problem is that ownership of your dead body is vested in nobody. A body, seriously, cannot be owned. Not your estate, not your heirs. Your posthumous wishes, and your heirs wishes, are taken into account by convention, but not by law.

    The ‘liberals’ are taking advantage of this and are using it to advance a communitarian agenda.

  • Eric

    I don’t have a problem with “opt out”, subject to the wishes of the family. Lots of people just don’t want to face death, so they don’t make a will and they don’t decide whether or not to donate organs. If the deceased didn’t have a preference, why not do what’s beneficial for society?

  • RAB

    Twa corbies
    Sucking out your eyeball
    with a succulant pop
    and crunch.

    Are you entirely sure of this legalistic stuff CC?

    Cos it aint the way it was taught to me.

  • Evan

    I think the frog is just about cooked by now.

  • Laird

    RAB, without doing any extensive legal research, at least Blackstone believed that under the Common Law there is no property right in a dead body:

    “* * * But though the heir has a property in the monuments and escutcheons of his ancestors, yet he had none in their bodies or ashes; nor can he bring any civil action against such as indecently at least, if not impiously, violate and disturb their remains, when dead and buried.”

    Blackstone, “Commentaries”
    P. 429
    The RIGHTS of THINGS, BOOK II, Ch. 28.

    I suspect that is still the rule in most (if not all) UK and US jurisdictions.

  • Sunfish

    I don’t have a problem with “opt out”, subject to the wishes of the family. Lots of people just don’t want to face death, so they don’t make a will and they don’t decide whether or not to donate organs. If the deceased didn’t have a preference, why not do what’s beneficial for society?

    Because it’s not his responsibility to have to tell people to leave him alone.

    And if someone dies intestate, the government doesn’t magically assume ownership of his assets.[1] Why should a cadaver be so different?

    I’ve got a signed organ donor card. I’m in the donor registry. And I donate blood 4-5 times a year. And it’s voluntary. The second anybody tries to claim ownership of my body, I’m going to start smoking again, have sex with prostitutes, get a tattoo from someone without a license, and otherwise go scorched-earth on them so that I end up permanently deferred as a donor and nobody gets a damn thing from my corpse.

    [1] There are laws dictating how assets are distributed, but the default assumption is that spouses and children get them, not the Colorado Department of Revenue.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Good post by Alex. By the way, the last time I wrote about this issue, I got quite a lot of spam emails from folk in India etc offering to sell their kidneys, etc. It was a bit weird.

  • If the deceased didn’t have a preference, why not do what’s beneficial for society?

    ‘Society’ is not an institution, it is an emergent property of several interactions, a series of consequences, a vibe even, so who can decide that? I suspect when you say ‘soceity’ what you really mean is ‘state’.

  • I carry a donner card. In the event of my death I would like someone to have my kebab.

    The lack of being able to own a dead body does lead to various legal oddities. There is no law against necrophilia in 30 US States for example. And what would happen if I wandered into UCL and walked out with Jeremy Bentham (who they have stuffed somewhere)? I hasten to add that I’m not planning this act of Tom and Jerryism though it would make rather a unique conversation piece in the dining room.

    Lenin has armed guards which is a shame because they’d make a lovely pair.

  • Perry, I read that differently, more like

    If the deceased didn’t have a preference, why not do what’s beneficial for someone in need?

    Which is still wrong, of course. Just because the deceased didn’t make his wishes known, (or has, but the record has disappeared, either accidentally or not), doesn’t mean he didn’t have any.

  • Midwesterner

    CC, Laird, et al,

    It is pretty clear that Blackstone means ‘when dead’. And at that time, dead or alive were the only options. But today, I can assure you that they are not transplanting a dead heart. Or any other dead organs.

    Blackstone appears to be predicated on an absence of material (as opposed to sentimental) value. And yet, so long as living tissue can be transplanted there is extreme material value (as Johnathan’s comment pointed out). Further, even fully dead corpses can have material value for research etc.

    I think Blackstone was writing in a framework of only superstitious uses for a corpse. Technology’s advance has changed things. He is probably only best applied now to legal actions taken against the decedent’s remains rather than wishes the decedent expresses for their remains. It is very likely that the value of transplantable organs could be the greatest material value of one’s estate.

  • Monty

    There was a tragic case recently of a young girl who died in an accident. She carried a donor card.

    The closest matching patient was her own Mother, who was on kidney dialysis, waiting for a transplant.

    The hospital took charge of the girls organs and told the Mother she couldn’t have either of them, because “it’s not our policy”.

    So folks, don’t leave it to ‘crats like that to preside over your remains. Opt-out and leave a witnessed document putting your family in charge.

  • John

    Of course, these problems would all be solved if people only took more foreign holidays.

    ‘Daughter in plea for return of Mum’s heart.
    A WOMAN has launched a campaign to have her dead mum’s organs returned after she died on holiday abroad and her body was flown home without her heart and a kidney.
    Anita Murray, aged 48, died on the Greek island of Zante.
    The mum-of-two, from Havercroft Road, Woodseats, had not been ill before and investigations are still underway to establish how she died.
    An initial post mortem was carried out in Athens but when her body was flown back to Sheffield for a second examination it emerged that her heart and a kidney had been kept.The body had to be cremated without them.
    Anita’s student daughter Stacey, said: “Juggling a job and university I struggle to find time to eat, and now I have to battle with Greece to try and get a cause of death for my mum. I need to know why she will never see me graduate or get married.”
    Just weeks after Anita died, the body of Matthew Cryer, 17, from Killamarsh, north Derbyshire, was flownback to Britain without his heart after he died on a night out on the same holiday island, leaving his family devastated. They had to bury their son without his heart.
    Now Stacey, 23, ofAtlantic Road,Lowedges, is demanding an investigation is launched into the retention of organs in Greece. She has written to Sheffield MP and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg – asking him to help .’

  • Midwesterner

    John, that really creeped me out and immediately brought to mind Robin Cook’s novel Coma or the old movie, Seconds.

  • John

    Midwesterner, you gotta laugh. I wonder how many Olymipic protesters in China have recently found themselved ‘volunteering’ to be vital organ donors?

  • J

    Monty, do you have a source for that story? It would be worth following up.