[IMAGE] Mutual Organ Donation Society

ByAlexander Chislenko

I've been reading and thinking a lot recently about the problem with the lack of donor organs for transplantation. Every day, several people die only because donor organs are not available (I haven't read any statistics on how many people live less because they got the organs too late or gave up on waiting and chose alternative treatment) - while lots of healthy organs needed to save these people's lives get wasted - buried or cremated.

Actually, the only thing that is needed to fix the situation, is an organizational mechanism that would make sure that the existing supply of organs reaches the potential recipients.

Market may be a good idea, though after watching "Crossfire" on CNN recently, with Andrew Kimbrell "explaining" the audience that "human body is not a commodity" (he sure knows better how *I* should treat *my* body), I am less convinced than ever that market can be a *socially acceptable* solution in the foreseeable future. (Opinions about alternative economic approaches to identity architectures and @#$%&! retrograds available upon request).

How about the following idea: allow people to sign donor cards that would give their organs for free to anybody who signed a similar card, with the priority given to those who signed up earlier. (Plus, maybe, some special cases for unconditional donors, children, Nobelists...)
It would give an immediate incentive to all people to sign up as soon as possible, and thus will satisfy egotistic interests; it is also attractive enough for pure altruists. Organs not needed for MODS members may be stored or donated/sold to the rest of the population.

I don't see how any of the existing arguments against the organ market may apply to the free, voluntary and accessible to everybody Mutual Organ Donation Society (MODS).

Your health condition will not matter; you can still sign up. However, your religion may not allow you to sign up (? - well, then, don't...) or donate organs at all (then it probably shouldn't allow you to accept donated organs either... I doubt though that this can be a serious obstacle). [Cryonicists are the only special case here...]

With MODS growing rapidly from the start, soon *everybody* will be guaranteed free donor organs whenever they need them. (MODS membership would still make sense, because it may help you get an organ a bit faster and will give additional assurances, which may be important for urgent and rare cases)

Do you think something like this may be implemented?

- Alexander Chislenko 02/03/94

feedback -- other essays -- home