Because I’m a very contrary person the news today that Whiny Dog Broon wants to change the arrangement for organ donor registration has hit me hard.
I’ve carried a donor card since they were first introduced, and put my name on the central register of donors when that was set up. I can’t understand why more people don’t register as donors. Well actually I can’t understand why everyone doesn’t. My organs will be no good to me after I’m dead, so, if they are any use for others, they might as well have them. And that goes for things like corneas too.
But now I feel rather like I did when compulsory seatbelts were brought in. I’d been using one for years because it made sense, but I don’t like being compelled to do things, especially where I was doing the thing voluntarily anyway. Compulsion makes me feel I’m one of those doing wrong that the government wants to catch. So, I almost feel like tearing up my donor card.
But I won’t, because I truly believe in organ donation. But that’s the whole point. It’s a donation. It’s not up to the government to force it on people.
At present there are probably people who have religious or ethical beliefs that make them think organ donation is wrong. Then there are a lot more who have always meant to do it, but just haven’t got round to it. Well, they need encouraging. The government should have a regular programme of promotion for the organ donor scheme.
It may seem like a good thing to have an opt out system. It will most certainly increase hugely the number of organs available for transplant, and Broon says that people will be able to opt out if they want to. Probably though they or their relatives will be under intense pressure and will either not realize they can opt out, or will be nervous about doing it.
It isn’t just that aspect, though. It’s a nasty first step along the way of denying individual freedom about what one does with one’s own body. It’s quietly putting the idea about that we and our bodies belong to the state, and the state will dispose of us and our bodies as it sees fit.
Big Brother and 1984 again. A Labour government beginning to show what its agenda really is – total control.