We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

In order to be used for transplant, the body must be fresh, undiseased and in a hospital. Presumed consent (which is not consent) will not necessarily make more of these available. That is all beside the moral argument and that one is pretty straightforward. Assuming anyone’s consent is not consent at all. It is the nationalisation of our bodies, it is the state seizing that which it does not own.


15 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Lee Moore


    But does anyone know the fancy legal bits ? The Welsh rules say that consent will be presumed for Welsh residents unless they opt out. Presumably the English rules will say something similar. But what happens if you’re English and you’re scraped off a Welsh road ? Or vice versa. Or if you’re French ?
    Does all this presumed consenting only apply if you happen to have your road accident in the country where you live ? Or does it all mean that it’s open season on French livers cos they haven’t got a way to opt out, shamefully lacking a UK residence ?

    How do they know where you’re resident when they scrape you off the road ? What sort of presuming are they allowed to do as to your residence ?

  • the other rob

    Very good questions, Lee Moore.

    Further: what if I were visiting England, got stabbed by a radical Islamic Loser and expired in hospital? A glance at my Texas driver’s license would show that I had not opted in to organ donation.

    I am clearly not a resident of England. But I was born an Englishman, so even if the French were safe, I might not be. As you say, we really need to see the text of any proposed legislation.

    On the article, I note that the BBC quotes a Prof. Rudge, then says “But” followed by quote from a Dr. Tavakoli, Yet nothing in the quote from the latter contradicts anything in the quote from the former. Has journalism sunk so low that the “journalists” no longer comprehend what the word “but” means?

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    The EU won’t let you sell your own organs, as an affront to dignity, but would allow the hospital to harvest ‘freely-consented’ organs?
    As for ‘but’, it has multiple uses. You might still find some Australian country speakers who end a sentence with ‘but’, shorthand for “excuse me for butting in.”

  • bobby b

    Jeremy Hunt says: “The issue here is really we know the vast majority of people are willing for their organs to be used but the vast majority of people are not on the organ donor register.”

    Oh, well, okay then.

    He knows you’re all okay with this. So, no worries.

  • bobby b

    I do note that the Impact Assessment document does go into some detail concerning some of the questions raised here, specifically having to do with exactly who should be deemed to have consented. Sounds like the French are safe. As are mental incompetents, kids, visitors – people who should not be deemed to know enough about the system to be required to opt out.

  • Ljh

    Will they give RoPers an automatic pass? They like to be buried with all their bits including amputated bits which predeceased them. In which case shouldn’t the public be yelling discrimination?

  • CaptDMO

    Property law, and “Estate”. New overexertion of “The Death Tax”?
    “We” need to harvest your fresh bits for…um…health, and safety. It’s for the children”
    Soylent Green….is PEOPLE!!!!!
    “Coma” Robin Cook.(There’s MUCH better stuff than Carbon Monoxide these days)
    Oddly, “medical students” once resigned to take whatever cadavers (corpses) the grave robbers would bring, they found that for a certain premium quite fresh cadavers, “to order”, and “on demand” with desired attributes, could be had.
    How’s that biometric 3D printer, with lab grown organic “ink”, made from “acquired” fetal tissue (ooooo, seems to be an existant “market” for that too),coming along?

  • nemesis

    My question is with such heavy handed legislation shouldn’t there be equivalent accountability. I don’t believe in the legislation in the first place but should a mistake occur there should be a very severe penalty that practitioners only act with extreme caution.

  • we know the vast majority of people are willing for their organs to be used

    If Mr Hunt believes this, why did he not try more vigorous persuasion.

    – It would be be easy to include the question on some of the many forms we fill in – census, voter registration, etc. Granted Longrider’s statement that viable organs come from people in hospital, it would seem even easier to ask them.

    – It would seem easy to announce that, if two people needed the same organ where one was an organ donor and the other was not (or one was a longstanding donor while the other had only signed up after finding they themselves needed an organ), then the first gets priority when an organ becomes available. It would seem difficult for a non-donor to argue against that. And if we again accept Longrider’s statement, the argument would seem very potent when offered to the only people who matter, people already in hospital.

    Are there arguments against the above, or am I right to assume that Mr Hunt doesn’t think like that because for him, as for far too many of our chattering classes, “just order it” is less a decision than an unavoidable way of thinking?

    A separate question: is Mr Hunt’s statement true? We know that a healthy ( 🙂 ) majority will say they do if asked, but does their repeated failure to get on the register, saying ‘I’ll think about it’ instead of just signing when the form is offered, etc., mean that, perhaps for reasons they cannot well explain to themselves never mind to others, the majority of people actually aren’t as of one mind as they say?

    I think Mr Hunt would have been right if he had said, “We know the vast majority of people are willing to accept an organ if it saves their life.” And I could imagine that being exploited – by someone who felt any need to win an argument instead of issue an order.

  • […] has a point. As was discussed here yesterday there is a push (it’s called a “consultation” but no one is in any doubt what the desired answer […]

  • Mal Reynolds

    I think what is missing from your thinking is the mindset of the budget holders in the NHS. Sure allowing the sale of organs may overcome the shortage but then they would have to pay for something they currently get for free. Adopting an opt out system is more budget friendly to them. Questions about the inherent rights of individuals to their own bodies don’t cross their minds.

  • CaptDMO

    Opt out?
    Sure, it’s called a will.
    Young? Healthy? Feeling immortal? Don’t have a will? You’re stupid!
    The trick is to ensure you assign a rough and ready executor willing to kneecap (figuratively of course) anyone citing “legal challenges”,or “for the public good….”, despite clear and present “my mortal remains shall be…“.

  • Rob Fisher

    I might have considered opting in until I came to understand the sorts of things that go on, the vagueness about how dead is dead whether anesthetics are used. If “the vast majority of people are willing” it’s probably only because they aren’t aware of such concerns. http://anesthesiology.pubs.asahq.org/article.aspx?articleid=1946453 / http://www.cmf.org.uk/resources/publications/content/?context=article&id=897

  • Julie near Chicago

    Rob: Likewise.

  • Paul Marks

    Why stop at “presumed consent” of the dead?

    Why not the living as well? After all the People’s Republic of China harvests organs from the living (at least they are living at the start of the process) – and the enlightened “liberals” of the West all love the Peoples’ Republic of China regime and hold that it is the future.

    Actually they may be right about the PRC being the future – it has the same utter contempt for human life that Ancient Rome had, and Rome conquered all comers and dominated its world for centuries.

    Contrary to the socialist fools of “Time” magazine (and other “liberal” socialists) it is not the state companies that are the heart of Chinese economic strength, it is the private manufacturers. But such state side lines as organ harvesting from enemies of the regime is useful in various ways. As various Western countries (including this one) are working to adopt Chinese style internet censorship for themselves – organ harvesting (say from “racists” – who would miss them after them have been demonised?) would be the next logical step.