Posted by Gary on March 22, 2008
Legislation is under consideration here in Delaware that would presume participation in our organ donor program unless one opts out. This bill also presumes consent which means that no further consent is needed. Current law allows some circumstances under which family could refuse the removal of a love one’s organs (an important protection especially if family becomes concern that medical care is on a track for organ removal more than for healing).
Some of us have a concern about House Bill #302 as it stands on its own, but we also have concerns about where laws like this will lead. We get some idea if we look to Wisconsin. Legislation has been passed there and is expected to be signed by the governor that would among other things:
1. Drop the age of consent to be an organ donor from 18 to 15
2. Give medical staff authority over the family’s decision if it cannot be determined what a patient wanted concerning being an organ donor. Here is a quote from an article:
"And in cases where it’s unclear whether the person wanted to be an organ donor, the bill elevates the consent-granting power of appointed health care agents over family members."
Here is a link for the article:
My fifteen year old can make a decision that I cannot override if I think best as his parent? A health care agent has more right to decide what will happen in regard to my loved one than I do? Do we not see where these things are all heading? Are we apathetic? I can assure you that as laws like this march forward that many people will find themselves in situations with their loved ones and they will cry out, "How can this be happening?" It happens very simply, by people not paying attention or hearing warnings and being apathetic.
There is nothing quite so dangerous as a group of people who are determined that what they are doing is good.
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