Philosophy Magazine

Organ Harvesting the Legal Way

By Gldmeier @gldmeier

Minister of Health Yael German has come up with a plan to increase the number of organ donations in Israel. Obviously her plan, if it passes, will save many lives.
German wants to change the law of organ donation. Currently to be an organ donor one must declare that he wants to be one. Sign the ADI card, when getting a drivers license, whatever/whenever. That's not good enough, because most people don't bother doing it, and then that leads us to the situation we are in where we do not have enough organs donated to save the lives that can be saved. German's changes would be basically to make the default that everyone is automatically a donor, and someone who does not want to be one must declare so.
Basically the state, if German's changes are passed into law, would be declaring ownership of our bodies, some sort of socialist or communist system of everything belonging to the State - it is basically organ harvesting from the unwitting. Most people live by inertia, unless they must do something out of the routine. They take the defaults, they don't shake things up, and often they do not even realize they have an option and/or if the default is good or bad for them. She is counting on people's laziness and lack of information to take their organs.
Organ harvesting the legal way
I am all in favor of increasing organ donation (in a halachic manner, of course) - create benefits for people who donate, go on massive campaigns to increase awareness of the need, and do whatever else can be done. Taking advantage of people's laziness/ignorance/awareness is not the right way to do this. I is, in my opinion, immoral.
The good thing is that to get such a law change passed would be very difficult, considering all the opposition it will engender, both from the religious parties and lobbies, as well as from the people who want less government intrusion into our lives, etc...
Once someone passes away, if the State is saying it has rights to the body, perhaps this means the State is declaring ownership of all dead bodies. That would mean it is the State who should be paying the arnona tax for burial plots considered by the Finance Ministry for implementation in cemeteries....

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