As it stands, people need to request that their organs be used for further purposes, but it has been suggested that perhaps people should have to opt out of the organ donation registry.
It was found that the generations who are most likely to need organs are the least likely to be registered organ donors. Certainly there are some people who wouldn't qualify as donors because of health problems, but for the rest of us, is it a duty to donate organs to people in need when we no longer have any use for them?
Organ donation perhaps shouldn't be mandatory, but we could do something to encourage a culture of people who want to give to others in need. My parents didn't force me to hold an organ donor card, but when I got my first driver's licence, their opinion was that if you don't need those organs anymore, it's fair game for others.
That rubbed off on me.
It's not something we should force on people, but fostering an attitude of charity is something that is vital in our society. There certainly isn't any harm in expecting people to be helpful and doing what they can to ensure their neighbour is healthy.
The organ donation game is one that helps everyone. They say each organ donor can potentially save eight lives. When we can do that kind of good, it's totally worth it.
We should want to help our neighbours. It's one of the reasons why I support universal health care. We help our neighbours if they are sick. It's something I consider to be a core Canadian value.
A policy where everyone is automatically a donor unless they opt out is something I would have to support.
As much as I value organ donation, I don't think making it mandatory is fair.
First of all, people have a right to donate their organs, just as much as they have a right to keep them once they're dead. It's part of a human being and as far as I'm concerned, death doesn't change that. Just because someone dies doesn't mean I can loot their house. That house belongs to the dead person's family (or whomever it was left to) and a corpse full of organs is no different. If a family wants their great aunt buried with her extremely healthy heart and lungs, that's just fine.
Also, some cultures consider organ donation wrong, or they define death differently. Some Asian cultures don't consider "brain death" to be actual death like we do here in the western world, so harvesting kidneys from a body in which the heart still beats is definitely not an option like it is here. Telling a person with these beliefs that it's mandatory to donate organs definitely infringes on their right to practise their own religion, a chartered freedom in Canada.
Organ donation definitely has benefits, as anyone with a donated heart or lung will tell you. But donating organs is a choice and shouldn't be made mandatory. The only thing that should be mandatory is for the family to have to donate the organs of someone who chose to be an organ donor before dying. I've heard stories of families who chose to keep their relative's organs even though the relative indicated wishing to donate. That's not fair. People should have to respect the wishes of the deceased, considering those donated organs could help a lot of people.
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