Friday, February 17, 2012

My choice!!

From today's prowling on

Organ donors shouldn't be vetoed - Minister

THE low organ donation rate in NSW could be improved by families talking among themselves about the issue, NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner says.

NSW has a comparatively low organ donation rate, with about 50 per cent of potential donors in 2010 overruled by their families at the time of death. In response to this, the NSW Government launched a discussion paper in December that canvassed abolishing families' right to veto.

The Department of Health & Ageing FAQs:

What if I’m already registered as a donor elsewhere?

It is important that you register your consent to be an organ and tissue donor on the Australian Organ Donor Register, which is the only national register for organ and tissue donation for transplantation.

Even if you have previously expressed an intention to donate organs and tissue, for example, by ticking a box on a driver’s licence renewal or registering elsewhere, it is very important that you update your details and register your consent to be an organ or tissue donor on the Australian Organ Donor Register.

By recording your consent on the Australian Organ Donor Register, you can be confident that your consent will be recognised should the circumstances arise when you may become an organ or tissue donor.

Should I discuss my decision about donation with my family, partner or friends?

It is important to discuss your decision with your family, partner or close friends.

By registering your decision on the Australian Organ Donor Register, you will ease the burden on your family of having to make this decision on your behalf.

They will be an important part of the donation process so you need to make sure they are aware of your decision to register your consent on the Australian Organ Donor Register.

Your family member, partner or friend will be asked to confirm that you had not changed your mind since you registered your consent or your decision not to donate.

Where you have recorded your consent to donate organs and tissue, your family member, partner or friend will be asked questions regarding your medical history to determine which organs and tissue may be suitable for transplantation.

The more family members who know of your decision about organ and tissue donation, the easier they will find it to ensure your decision is respected and fulfilled.

My two cents:

I think it is fairly obvious by the choice of title to this particular blog post. I firmly believe that it comes down to the right of the individual to choose whether or not they consent to being an organ donor. My organs, my choice. I am an organ donor. Not only have I nominated it on my license, I have also registered on the Australian Organ Donor Register. 

What I do not understand is why this register does not provide some sort of binding agreement/decision for the donating party, notwithstanding any medical exclusions. Obviously, if an organ is not viable for donation then it would be redundant to take it. But I do not see why my family should have the final choice on whether or not my organs can be used to save the life or improve the life of someone else. Why should they have the power to turn around and say "No" when I very clearly have said "Yes"? Why should I have to sit down with them and stress my wishes and reiterate to them that it is what I want and that they are not to change my decision? What is the point in having that conversation when in the end, my wishes could still be completely disregarded by my family. I should be able to register myself as an organ donor and have that decision abided by everyone unless there is some specific and valid reason for excluding me or defying my wishes. 

I support any legislative proposal that would abolish the family's right to veto the decision of an organ donor. It might sound silly, but I didn't think that the second I drew my last breath, my wishes became moot. I can legally, through the registration of a valid Will, determine the distribution of my personal assets, why then can I not legally determine the distribution of my physical self? 

Organ donation is a personal choice. I don't believe it is something that should be a compulsory agreement - though I would entertain such an argument if donation numbers were so critically low that the number of people needing organs obscenely outnumbered the number of organs available for donation. I am an adult, a tax payer, of sound mind and able to make rational decisions. As such, I make the decision to offer any and all viable parts of myself after my death to help improve or prolong the life of someone else. My decision should not be 'confirmed' and ultimately 'allowed' by my family. My family should not have the right to turn around and change my mind posthumously. 

My right to donate.

1 comment:

  1. This makes me wonder what the actual process here in the States is. I am an organ donor myself. Should something ever hapoen to me I want my legacy to consist of more than material things, and what better legacy can you have other than turning your loss of life into someone else's continuation of life?

    I'm with you on this. Organ donation is a personal decision and doesn't involve anyone else. If someone wants to be greedy about organs the body doesn't need any more, let them keep thier own. Let mine go to someone who needs them. I really can't imagine why anyone would not *want* to be an organ donor, given all the good that it can do.

    Definitely time to check on our own laws here.