Charity begins at…? Part 2

As I mentioned yesterday, the Government’s spirit of giving seems to be in full swing this festive season. Not content with our money, it is after our bodies as well.

Yes, all right, before the howls of anguish start, I am being slightly dramatic.

Anyone who has had to fill in a D1 form to obtain a new or alter details on their existing driving licence will be aware that for quite some time now there has been a section to allow you to indicate that you would like to join the organ donor register. Completion of this section has been entirely voluntary.

But not any longer – or not after July 1st anyway. The Public Health minister, Anne Milton, has announced (news report only I’m afraid, I haven’t been able to find her actual statement) that from then on anyone filling out the form will have to indicate one of the following responses:

  • Yes I would like register on the NHS Organ Donor Register;
  • I do not want to answer this question now;
  • or I am already registered on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

It might not seem like much of a change, indeed the second answer is perhaps much the same as skipping over the section completely. The problem is that this change is forcing people to give a government mandated answer – and there isn’t a ‘No’ option. My organs are my property and it is up to me what I do with them, not for the state to reduce my say in the matter to a choice of “yes; already have done; ask me again later”.

It isn’t even a one time answer. Legally one has to notify the DVLA of every change of address as well as renewing the photo card portion of the licence every 10 years and then there is every extension when you get past 70. Each time the state gets to nag you again. Each time the question and the possible answers may change. How long before mission creep means that every person who wants a driving licence is automatically enrolled on the organ donor register?

Over the top? Not really. The likes of the BHF would like to see organ donation become an opt-out thing where everyone is included unless they say otherwise. That to me is tantamount to an organisation declaring that it owns your body unless you choose to take that ownership back and is completely unacceptable. The choice should always be mine to make. Anything else is unacceptable force by an outside agency and should be opposed.

And before anyone complains, I am not against organ donation. I am simply against the idea of someone else making the decision for me.

5 Comments

  1. Catosays says:

    Absolutely spot on. I’m generally in favour of organ donation but this is the thin end of the wedge.

    I will make the choice of my own volition…not by default.

  2. gegenmich says:

    So, are you going to register on the NHS Organ Donor Register or not? I jest.

    The most depressing aspect of each episode such as this one is that there are still people who think – misguidedly – that the current inhabitants of Number 10 support individual liberty any more than the Fabian filth left behind in May.

  3. Michael says:

    Urm… Why do we need a donor register? Wouldn’t it be easier just to make your wishes known to your nearest and dearest. They have to approve everything anyway.

    • Misanthrope Girl says:

      Exactly.

      Organ donation is not something which a grieving relative is likely to be thinking about but if you’ve discussed it with them before hand they will probably be able to remember your wishes on the subject.

      Also, what happened to the organ donor cards that people used to carry? Can you still get them or have they been withdrawn?

  4. patently says:

    What they don’t realise is that this is counter-productive. Ask me if I would like to go on the organ donor register with a simple yes/no response, and I’ll probably say yes. Ask me with a yes/yes please/maybe later response, and my reaction is not printable. All I can promise is that it won’t be “yes”.

    Back in the dim & distant past before the organ donor register, they used to send our donor cards with driving licences, to put in the bin or keep as you wished. That worked; I kept mine for some years. This won’t.