Laws the GOP Should Pass #27: Organ Donation

This week’s law is once again brought to you by Health Care. Health Care: The problem that has a million right ways to solves it, and Barack Obama has yet to find one of them.
This week we’re going to again be dealing with something that’s more of a state’s rights issue and will require 50 individual states to enact it but will also yield major benefits in the healthcare industry.

Before we proceed I want you to you take out your driver’s license. Does it say organ donor? No? SHAME ON YOU! (If you did check off the organ donor part you will of course understand the shame people who didn’t should feel). But this comes to my point how many people don’t check off the organ donor section because they just don’t think about it. A lot. Most people who don’t check off the organ donor box do it because they’re apathetic, not because they have some insane religious belief. (And I will maintain any religious requirements on what happens to a body after the owner has given up residence are insane. Why on Earth would God blame or punish you on what happens to your body after you’re no longer there. That would be beyond insane. Now some religious people might counter that it’s an injunction for the living to show respect to those who have passed…but again I can’t see God caring more about you showing respect to the dearly departed than showing respect to the almost dying who could be saved by a heart transplant. To assume God would be against using corpses for organ donation is to assume God is irrational and cruel—(neither of which I assume he is.) So why should we waste those organs just because people are apathetic? Let’s get rid of the requirement of having to be registered with the National Donor Registry and just assume you wanted to help people who could still live.

I suggest all states change their laws to be that we will assume we can use all your organs, donate your body to science and burn the rest unless you or your family objects. Instead of checking the “organ donor” box people will check the “do not use my organs” box (I would prefer it to read “I am so selfish I would rather kill people just out of spite” box…but I don’t think we could get that passed) and give a year period for everyone with wacky religious beliefs to get their new cards. Obviously if your immediate family (and only immediate family, we all have the wacky distant relative who has converted to the craziest sect they can find) wants to keep your body whole, or wants to put what’s left in the ground, no questions will be asked. But we will simply change the basic assumption toward organ donation. Now will some families still object, yes–but this change will make it less socially acceptible to object because your immediate (and only immediate) family has some rather bizzare attachment to the useless husk that you are not longer inhabiting.

This will save a lot of lives. It should also moderately drop the cost of organs (which is currently insanely high) as while I’m sure most of the cost comes from medical costs of searching for viable candidates (which should actually drop), harvesting from cadavers, and transportation (which might also drop as you’re now much more likely to be close to a viable organ) so even capitalism doesn’t suggest that the prices will go down a lot…but a glut on any market will always drop the price and I can’t see this as being completely outside of the basic rules of supply and demand.

It’s not going to affect costs a lot, but it will affect quality of care as hundreds (perhaps thousands of more people) will live…and isn’t that one of the main cries about helping people live better lives when it comes to healthcare reform?

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of collecting organs that would otherwise be thrown away, I have heard that if laws were changed and allowed to save and store the blood in umbilical cords which is otherwise thrown away, we would always have enough blood for necessary transfusions. I have not heard this confirmed by a medical expert and I can imagine several medical reasons why storing and reusing such blood might not be medically safe…however if there is no medical impediment to reusing umbilical cord blood shouldn’t laws be changed in favor of it. Do I have any doctors who read this blog who can give me a reason why we can’t use that blood?

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