Chopped Liver - A Community for Live Organ Donors and Recipients

Monday, July 10, 2006

A different kind of "harvest time"

Generally speaking the word "harvest" is pretty -- calmly sibilant, suggestive of sweeping corn fields and waves of grain. But something happens to it when it becomes part of the phrase "organ harvest." Not so easy on the ears, is it! Nonetheless, I'm adding the phrase to my list of periodic Google news searches in my attempt to stay up to date on the global organ donation landscape.

Today, the search yielded this interesting story from Australia: The country is considering legislation that would allow physicians to begin preparing brain-dead patients' organs for transplantation prior to their "real" (cardiac) death. It would be the first country in the world to explicitly legalize these helpful measures . Mind you, this would apply only to brain-dead patients who had elected during healthier times to become organ donors upon dying. (It is the Australian Health Ethics Committee proposing the idea, after all.)

I'm hardly knowledgeable enough to endorse the law, but sure as hell am inclined to do so, especially after reading this other Australian story, an ABC report found by searching for "organ harvest" on Google today: A Canadian report is suggesting that China is killing political prisoners by removing their useful organs from their otherwise healthy bodies, for transplantation into foreign patients who will pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for the goods. These are the evils that our global organ shortage may be leading to. Thank you to all of you who have already completed your organ donor cards...


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