Sunday, January 13, 2008

Another innovation from Great Britain's NHS: involuntary organ harvesting

Did you fill out that consent for organ donation on the back of your driver's license? I did.

Did you include permission in your will for your organs to be harvested? Eventually I will get around to it.

However, if Great Britain's new PM Gordon Brown has his way, our cousins won't have to worry about such niceties.

Brown wants to give National Health Service physicians the power to harvest organs from the dead without the necessity of consent.

The Libertarian Alliance gives you two ways to look at this. The first, is the organization's restrained, official policy statement:

The Libertarian Alliance believes that no organ or bodily part should be taken from any person for any purpose without the explicit prior consent of that person, or, if dead, without the explicit consent of the next of kin.


But frankly what I like better is the personal reaction of LA Director Sean Gabb:

When the law allows organs to be harvested from the bodies of the dead without the explicit prior consent of the dead, or the explicit consent of the next of kin, the State becomes effectively a cannibal.


I can't wait to hear from someone in America who either (a) supports such a ghoulish practice, or (b) doesn't think the lessons currently coming out of Great Britain, Canada, and Australia regarding the perils of single-payer health care aren't applicable.

7 comments:

Waldo said...

I'm not sure what the government would be enforcing such a plan, but it wouldn't be a cannibal. Cannibals eat human flesh.

Maybe some sort of recycling analogy will work better...

cxx_guy said...

A metaphor is a spaceship, flying WAY over your head.

cxx_guy said...

While at the same time, a simile is LIKE a spaceship, flying WAY over your head.

David Davis said...

Steve, very many thankyous and salaams for picking this one up. I am afraid that now in the UK we need all the help we can get.

When Chris Tame was alive, he and we and Sean used to sometimes to discuss the past and the future. Chris thought that creeping Brave-New-Worldism had been held back rather behind schedule for some decades, since there then were "enough people to make a difference" (his words.)

You'll notice from some of our posts, especially mine (I am rather older than the rest of them, only Chris was older than me I think) a note of slight pessimism creeping in, mainly when we talk about Britain and British local issues of liberty.

It's no longer fanciful in the opinion of some of us that a person's treatment status, and even his/her susceptibility to be kept alive for organ reasons rather than his own individual sovereignty, may hinge on the tacit agreement not to "opt out" of this diabolic scheme.

I am reminded of china, wherein "criminals" are routinely evacuated of useful organs even while medically alive, or at least mercifully just after being shot.

I'd love while alive to write a nice elegy for English liberal society, but I found that Roger Scruton has already done one. Bummer! (I've bought one of his instead.)

tom said...

I guess it's about time for the Frankenstein style angry mob to get out their torches & pitchforks and go protest this.

David Reevely said...

Speaking as a Canadian, I don't think the single-payer health system has anything to do with this policy, except that maybe they're (separate) manifestations of the expectation that the government will solve big problems.

After all, if the government's paying for your health care, its economic interest is that people die, rather than getting some of the most expensive surgery in the world and a lifetime of follow-up treatments.

Incidentally, a provincial politician proposed this in Ontario and it didn't fly.

Alan Coffey said...

David said:
After all, if the government's paying for your health care, its economic interest is that people die, rather than getting some of the most expensive surgery in the world and a lifetime of follow-up treatments.

This is what you WANT? If the government saves money when you die, and they control what procedures would be used to stave off such a fate, you are left with, what? Damn little between you and your maker I say!