Friday, December 15, 2006

Why I am not in favor of organ donation and organ transplants

I was reading an Op-Ed piece in The New York Times by Francis Delmonico entitled "A Second Look at Death" concerning an issue related to organ donation, and it reminded me of something I had been meaning to say on the topic of organ transplants.

Years ago, I used to be a big fan of organ donation. Saving lives and all of that. But over time I have changed my mind and now oppose organ donation. I don't viscerally oppose other people being involved with organ donation, but I myself do not want to be any part of it and would recommend that others adopt a similar position. Death is a simple fact of life. I believe that it is better to encourage and facilitate people living their natural lives in a natural manner, and organ transplants are distinctly unnatural.

We should all try to live life to the fullest, but clinging and resorting to distinctly unnatural dramatic methods doesn't make a lot of sense, to me.

When your natural time has come, it has come. Rather than desperately clinging to every last shred of hope or desire, we ultimately should consider simply letting go and letting nature follow its own, natural course.

Dying with dignity should be a goal and be considered a very good thing. Desperate clinging to life should be discouraged.

I'm not opposed to "moderate" medical measures, but extreme measures such as organ transplants and extreme cancer treatments simply don't make sense to me.

I may go so far as to be opposed to even blood transfusions. I haven't firmly set my mind on that, but I am leaning that way. I'm all but there, but I won't take a position of these types of matters without thinking them through very carefully.

I am also opposed to other forms of "harvesting", such as bones, skin, and other body tissue.

I am also opposed to "live" organ donations and transplants, such as kidneys.

I'm not opposed to using dead human bodies for some forms of research and teaching, but I'm sure there are some forms that I might strongly oppose if I knew of them.

I am also opposed to so-called "life extension", other than inherently "natural" forms such as better nutrition, proper rest, proper exercise, and properly managing stress.

As a society we seem to be placing too high a premium on "saving" lives when the premium should be on helping more people live better lives.

On top of all of that, organ donation and transplatation is a big business, with lots of money to be made by lots of people, and that offends me very, very deeply. Going up against such an entrenched force is not an easy task. Techncally, I am not go up against them in any direct manner, but simply expressing my views on this topic may be viewed in a distinctly negative manner by those who are "in the business."

Every human life has or will have a beginning and an end. We should respect and facilitate that whole life cycle as best as we can, while keeping it as natural as we can.

-- Jack Krupansky

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