Vexen Crabtree 2015


Vexen Crabtree's Live Journal

Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards

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Post-Death Issues and

"Funeral Ritual Instinct" by Vexen Crabtree (2002)

The Not a Donor Card has long been a good idea. When people die, their healthy organs can be used to save others, unless they carry a card to say they'd rather let others suffer. There is no humane reason to de facto deny others your own healthy organs, once you are dead. There should be European-wide legislation to make all of Europe a donate-by-default region.

If peoples' religious or cultural delusions lean them towards social malefaction, then, they can carry a "not a donor" card, to exempt themselves from the moral duty to help others. By allowing these exemptions, the scheme is more likely to be implemented. Then, later, we can remove this exemption. Only religious extremists and confused individuals will oppose it, once the scheme is seen as a success all over Europe, not just in Spain.

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My mortal remains are not some sort of fleshy spare-parts-bin to be plundered by the State after my death.

OTOH I'd have no problems with Ebaying my parts post-mortem, with the funds so raised being utilised in accordance with terms & conditions defined in my will.

Death is the most pressing of problems, especially for those who wish to remain alive... there is no greater tragedy than the loss of life.

But once you are dead, your organs can help others live... your spare parts are not to be plundered, but they CAN be used to save life.

Indeed, I think that the morality of saving a life is great enough to override the once-existant moral concners of the recently deceased.

And hey, if you want to sell them in advance, so be it, sell them to an organ depository (none in the UK, though!), and get an exemption, and write on the back of your Not a Donor Card that your organs have been sold!

I totally agree, I have a donor card but it got lost, but my next of kins all know I'd like to donate whatever they can find that still functions!

When I worked at the funeral parlours I was disguted at the low amount of people who donated organs. These are organs that will ultimatley get burned or buried, yet could save a life.

One woman donated her whole body and we buried what bits of her they sent back, which is a bit gross, but I'd be up for that level of donation too.

I get a bit anxious about the idea the government could have that amount of control over your body, but an opt out will sort out that area.

Otherwise we'll continue to have people die needlessly or organ failure and a disguting trade in imported body parts of murder victims.

The current system is crap - alcoholics who have had several new ones and refuse to get help to recover are given yet another liver because they're higher up on the list than people with liver cancer who have had none. That balance needs to be redressed.

"3.2.1 Alcohol-induced liver disease A history of excess alcohol is relevant in regard to potential or actual significant damage to cardiovascular and neurological tissue, or to the risk that patients might revert to alcohol abuse or might not comply with medication or follow up schedules and thus damage the new liver. A multi-disciplinary approach is required to select patients who are likely to comply with follow-up and not return to a damaging pattern of alcohol consumption after transplantation and may include psychological/psychiatric assessment. Appropriate follow-up strategies may be needed."

So it looks like they're assessed on a case-by-case basis - and anyone who has a history of alcohol replase would most likely not get given another new one as you suggest, especially if they'd already been given one transplant already, and then gone back to the drink.

With regards to the cancer - there's decent medical grounds for not transplanting with patients who suffer from certain types of cancer due to the large probability of it re-occurring - particularly in conjunction with immuno suppressant drugs.

"3.2.7 Malignancy Where potential liver allograft recipients have suffered from previous extrahepatic malignancy, the decision to proceed for liver transplantation should depend, in part, on the probability of malignancy recurring following liver transplantation. Some immunosuppressive agents may encourage the growth of malignancy. Patients should be considered in the light of section 2.2. With patients with primary hepatic malignancy, there are agreed criteria which predict a high probability of tumour persistence after transplantation: these include number of lesions, size of lesions, portal vein involvement and spread outside the liver capsule. Most data suggest that more than 3 liver tumours with a maximum diameter of 5 cm indicates that hapatocellular cancer is likely to persist following liver transplantation and the criteria in section 2.2. will not be met. However. These criteria are under regular review and a slight expansion, using the UCSF criteria, may be appropriate. The role of interventions that shrink the tumour (such as chemoembolisation) remains uncertain and extension of the conventional indications should be done in the context of agreed studies. In general, those known to have cholangiocarcinoma are not appropriate candidates for transplantation."

I think it's another one of those systems that work one way in theory and in writing and another in practice...

Mum comes across patients in the hospice every day who have been refused livers (many not cancer, wrong about that bit) yet also sees chronic alcoholics who are on thier 3rd or 4th transplant. I put this down as much to the fact that alcoholism support in this country is truly appalling, as much as the state of the transplant system though.

Actually, it wouldn't terribly surprise me if those guidelines were ignored in practice, if the rest of the NHS is anything to go by.

I would not like to see this bought in as a european measure because it is at it's heart a very spiritual question and for europe to go in to that area in such a way would give so much properganda to the Anti-euro lobby as to blow it apart. It would be good to see all countries choose for them selves to impliment an "Opt out" donation sceme.

I would though very much object to your second paragraph. I do not concider my physical body to be the property of anyone other than myself and I concider that to be the case even after my death. Power over myself is the one thing I concider myself to have a total right to and for me it would be a step to far for the government to take that away. It would be one liburty to far. I do not mind it being assumed I want to donate unless I say otherwise. That way I still have the choice and for what it's worth I have already chosen to donate and opted in, but I concider that choice my right and mine alone and concider that everyone else also has that right.

Yep. And I think masses of people would have a problem with having to opt out too. However, I think an opt-out system would be far better than the one we have.

You can't remove the opt-out though. People have to be able to make their own choices about some things, and their own bodies is one of them.

I think that concern for the living should override the now-irrelevent physical self-concerns of the dead!

Imagine if a religion became popular that caused its adherents to shun burial? They could use the same argument ('their own bodies' etc), and it would simply have an unacceptable effect on the living. I think the case of organ donation is the same; organs can save lives, and I think that is more of a moral concern than any attachment dead people think they might have with their dead bodies.

After all, as we cremate more people than we bury, surely there can't be that much opposition to reducing the ash pile, and allowing others to live?

I would be morally opposed to anyones' moral oppositions! I can't see how there can be a valid justification to cause one person a day to die whilst on organ donation waiting lists, when the solution costs nothing, and even means less carbon oxides released into the air (as less corpse mass is burned)!

Well don't have a go at me. I agree with you. Just don't think there would be the kind of consensus to get it passed, that's all.

Wasn't having a go at you... just debating-out-loud at the issues! (And, I won't have-a-go when people disagree, I am a hard debater but arguments are not personal)!

What ever thier Moral Justification and weather you agree with it or not I think it gross arogance to claim more right over thier body than they themselves have.

The logical conclusion to that is that if the only suitable match for an organ transplant is another living person and the pserson needing the transplant was of more use to socioty then the current owner of the organ should be put to death and butchered for his parts.

Our bodies are the one thing that is most essentualy our own. If the government persumes ownership of thoes bodies either before or after death then personal freedom is effectively a thing of the past.

Incidently there are plenty of people neither burned or buried in this world due to thier religous beliefs. This is why the dramatic decline of the indian population of vultures is causing great concern in that country.

In short the thing you have totaly failed to apreciate is that peoples feelings matter. If we were to live in a world where sentimentality (and the desier to control the ultimate destination of ones body is a most fundimental sentimentality) was so ignored and derided and set aside then I would suggest that one the things that most makes being human worth the effort would have been struck down. There comes a point where you can take cold logic to far.

Also I would add that it would be of no practical use to make opting out impossible as just creating an opt out baszed system would leave us with far more organs than we have the surgons to make use of or I would guess patients who could benifit from them.

Again, the only rational approach is for organs that are no longer needed, to be used to save lives, by default... you yourself said "peoples feelings matter"... and people who are alive having feelings; therefore, if feelings matter, organs from dead bodies can and should be used to save those who have feelings.

I support an opt-out system because I cannot think of a single moral reason why you'd want to intentionally restrict the saving of other peoples' lives; what kind of objection could be of such concern that human suffering and death is less important? I can't think of any!

Where in this thread have I disagreed with the priciple of an opt out system? THe answer is that I have not. My argument is against your acersion that at some point in the future the option to opt out should be removed just as soon as oppersition to such a move can be reduced suffiecently.

Your recent style of debate seems to mirror more and more the habbit of the british press to accuse anyone with veiws opposed to thier own of having not only those veiws but those views taken to a rediculas exstream.

Debate is not about winning. it is about analizing a proposal or proposition.

Well I know that an opt-out system is inevitable, and I recommend it because of the politics involved means that more suffering is saved by passing an opt-out version in the short term (wheras, none would be saved by trying to pass a doomed no-opt-out-version).

But, I am morally opposed to opt-out schemes... saving organs, to save lifes, is to me more important than any of the arguments I've seen against donation.

Combining the two reasons above, means that I will support an opt-out system because it is the second-best to rote saving of organs, but will still press for the recognition that opt-outs aren't justifiable.

What is the point of life is it is not without freedom? What is freedom if not the right to choose?

It is my opinion that the choice of what happens to one's physical body even after death is one of the most fundimental of choices and should be to as greater exstent as practicable a choice for the person who's body it is.

(1) People are not free in all areas. We are not free to murder other people, to poison water wells, and legally at least, we are not free to stand as a bystander whilst an arrestable offence (such as murder) is being committed. On all these points, we are not free to choose. Yet, our 'freedom' is only impinged in order to give other people their own freedom. The overall level of freedom increases in a stable society where murder and accidental death is reduced.

Following on:

(2) We are not free to let our bodies decompose in public, because it threatens life, by causing disease. This is a precedent for our wishes towards our bodies, when we are dead, being overriden by the public good. In other words, we have to be buried or cremated. There are many freedoms here that are suppressed.

If freedom is valuable, then, once I am dead and I cannot use my body in order to act freely, it makes sense that my soon-to-be-useless organs are in fact used to allow other people to live longer and enjoy their freedom.

I should not be free to deny them life, just like I'm not free to chose to let my body decay in a field: in both cases, the public good and general freedom are both increased by making certain acts illegal/compulsory.

Indeed I think we are already seeing the arguments wheeled out against an opt out system. and they don't seem to hold water in my oppinion. I have heard one tory politician say "Opting out is no choice at all" and go on to claim that most would be to scared to opt out for fear of what people would say, but is they don't care enough to fill in a form or what ever is the system then I would suggest that they obviously don't care that much about what will happen to them after they die.

My one concern is that the system must be orgaised enough that when people die if they have opted out thier body parts are not taken by mistake. I am quite sure such a system can be organised, but it is important for peoples belief in thier own liburty that robust and sensible system is built in to the legislation to enact an opt out system.

Yes. That Tory is obviously is bag of shit. Opt out is fine. But a lot of people don't like that kind of stuff. But nor do they like the smoking ban, which I LOVE!

I agree apart from the removing of the exemption. It is a basic human right to have control over what happens to your own body! It is pretty selfish to deny permission to your organs but people shouldn't be forced into having their parts taken. That's stealing. With the not a donor card the vast majority of people who die will be available for organs anyway. I don't think the small amount who disagree with donors for personal or religious view are going to pose a problem. Certainly not worth sacrificing peoples freedom over.

I think the Human rights (and possibilities) of the living have greater weight than the neurotic wishes of the no-longer-living. I don't think you can morally or legally justify arbitrarily letting people die. Or, that *should* be the case.

People have all kinds of moral objections to all kinds of things (e.g., some people are morally opposed to clothes, some people opposed to washing, some people opposed to nakedness, and most opposed to disease)... out of this confusing mess, it should be apparent that some moral wishes have to be ignored.

For example, the Christian Right is morally opposed to abortion... surely, this massive overriding of the rights-of-the-living should translate easily into overriding of the rights-of-the-dead for the sake of the living?

I can see many strong arguments for default (and almost-compulsory) organ donation, but not any moral or logical arguments against!

Where dose one draw the line I wonder. THink of all the resorces you have and do frittered away on fun and comfort when they could have gone to preserving life? Think of all the time you spend relaxing or out having fun when you could be out there aiding the cause of saving lives?

When your life is structured such that you are saving every life that your time and resorces alow you to prehaps then you have the right to complain when people want to exercise the basic human desier to determin what happens to thier own body.

Well this logic supports the active use of organs... if being 'out there having fun' is important... surely, the best course of action is that when your own body is no longer of any use, your organs should be used so that others can remain out there, having fun.

But it also Gose to proove that an important part of being human is to be than just a cog in the machine. To be more than just a means to keep other people alive. The point is that people are not willing to give everything up just to increase the life time not only of others but of themselves.

It's the same part of a person that lead to the result that when some time ago I daid I would rather risk death by a terrorists bomb than risk the loss of my liburties and freedoms many people commented to agree with me There is more to life than just living and some things are more important to many people. A certain level of personal choice is one such thing and I feel that the right to determin what happens to ones corpareal form even after death is one such.

It may be a sentimental attachment to ones physical self that leads people to want some degree of choice in what happens to it after they have gone but at the end of the day the desier to preserve the lives of others is just another form of sentimentality and we are none the worse for that.

There is a question of balance and your suggsion that in time it would be prefferable to take away that choice even from thoughs who wish to use it to the non-advantage of others I feel goes well beyond that balance.

In short your logic ignorse the fact that what you are actualy doing is stacking up factors in favor of one sentimental desire in favor of another. My body is not just any peice of property to be taken posesion of by the state at thier wim like some house under inheritance tax. It is the one thing that is totaly mine and it's future is not one they have right to take. I have made my choice about the future of my physical form. I hope it will bring benifit to such people as may suvive me, but that was my choice and my right to decide. anyone not happy with that can go find thier own smegging kidney.

The problem is with arguing that "people are not willing to give everything up just to increase the life time not only of others" and that people aren't "cogs in the machine" are that we are talking about dead people; and not just dead people, but we are talking about the bodies of the dead people... salvaging organs to save other peoples' lives, does not infringe any of the rights, freedoms, morals or wishes of the person... who is now dead.

When you argue that "posession" and "theft" are more important than saving lives, and comparing life-saving organ transplants to a "tax", don't forget that we are only taking organs from the recently deceased... not from living people. Their organs will decay rapidly and be unusable within hours of death.

Arguing you can't "steal" them is like trying to argue that tramps are "stealing" discarded food, and should be stopped from doing so! But to stop them, will kill them. Do the rights of the people who were once 'using' the food still override the rights of the person who now needs the food?

Or, if we abandom the "bodies as objects" idea... is it not more moral to save a life than to claim that property law (of dead people, who do not have any legal belongings) overrides the right to life?

It's all very well arguing that when sombody is dead they will not care, but before that they will be alive and being alive they will be caring about what happens even after they are dead. They will be aware in life that thier rights to decide what happens to thier physical form in death has been removed. so they will have plenty of time to not only care but feel totaly violated.

To claim equality between physical form of a human being and food is to totaly misrepresent the total lack of equality of importance to people between these two things and a silly argument.

The body is far more than just an object. It is an intrigal part of a person and thier image of self. If one has not a right to self one may as well not have a right to life human life without self is both a contridiction and pointless. Humans are not just machines to be utalised. not just the property of the state. and the componant parts also have that honor.

"If one has not a right to self one may as well not have a right to life"

This is a good quote... hopefully, you can see how it translates into: Therefore, this right to life means that life will be saved by using the organs of those who no longer have life.

The result is (a) increased right to life (b) increased rights (as less people die, due to others claiming property right over useful, but no longer actually used, organs).

The opposite is this:

(a) increased right to property at the expense of life and others' freedom.

So, if you deny people the use of organs you might as well have in your will: "In my life I developed life-saving-drug X... but upon my death, no-one is allowed to use it". What is more important, saving lives, or philosophical concerns about where carbon molecules go once you no longer need them?

You said: "It is the one thing that is totaly mine and it's future is not one they have right to take. I have made my choice about the future of my physical form. I hope it will bring benifit to such people as may suvive me, but that was my choice and my right to decide. anyone not happy with that can go find thier own smegging kidney."

So what you are saying at first is that no-one has the right to take away your body because it is "totally yours". But then you also say that YOU have the right to make people "go find their own smegging kidney" -- which in waiting-list terms, means that they are more likely to die trying. So, YOU have the right to override their wish to life with their body, but, once you are dead and don't need it anymore, no-one else has the right to save their own body by using the organs that you are no longer using?

You have contradicted yourself... if the right of a person to do what they want with their body is of greater importance, it should follow that discarded bodies are best used to further that right.

Organs decay anyway... you can't stop nature, no matter how many rights you claim. As soon as you die, the right over your working body has ended, and your body will decay... to then stop others exercising their rights with their bodies, and their right to life, is to refute your own argument that the rights of life are important!

No I have not. I am quite happy to offer my body parts for doantion, but if this country ever elected a government so caveliaer with peoples personal freedoms as to take away the right to decided what was to become of my remains then I waould take it as a sign that things had gone to far and do my level best to leave. for the Jack boots you used in your orriginal post Icon would be apt and I would not wish to stick around to serve a state with such totalitarian principles.

When I die I maintian the right over my body, working or otherwise to decide weather I wish to allow my remaining working bits to be transplanted to the service of another or to be subjected to the decay nature has in store for us or for that matter several other options such as cremation, pickling, cryogenics or being left out for the vultures (One has to have one's corps sent abroad for that one but it's still a possibility and there are many more). It is my choice to make and a right I hold dear. It is a matter of the right of the self. We both wish to have aur parts recycled (And in much the same way) but to force that upon others is not our right nor the right of any.

Life without freedom is not life. Some freedoms are central to who we are and we may often not realise till that freedom is removed. Have you become to used to takeing orders?

1) I know you'd donate your organs, because I know you care about life.

Unfortunately, some people don't care about life, and will happily let others suffer.

You said:

"When I die I maintian the right over my body"


And you also said: "to force that upon others is not our right nor the right of any"

So what about the right of people who are dying, and could be saved by using your ex-organs? How can property rights (however 'dearly' you hold that right) be more important than the right to life and freedom?

You ended your post with: "Life without freedom is not life. Some freedoms are central to who we are and we may often not realise till that freedom is removed. Have you become to used to takeing orders?"

Your first statement doesn't hold true. There are many ways in which we are not free, yet, life is still life, and we are still free people. Apologies for the repost: We are not free to murder other people, to poison water wells, and legally at least, we are not free to stand as a bystander whilst an arrestable offence (such as murder) is being committed. On all these points, we are not free to choose. Yet, our 'freedom' is only impinged in order to give other people their own freedom. The overall level of freedom increases in a stable society where murder and accidental death is reduced.

I should not be free (as I am not in the cases above) to deny them life, just like I'm not free to chose to let my body decay in a field: in both cases, the public good and general freedom are both increased by making certain acts illegal/compulsory.

And again, my work situation is not relevent to this thread; only moral arguments are important, not personal circumstances. But as you mention it, I will take orders that are valid, and more importantly, no-one under UK, EU or UN law can be tried for refusing to committ an 'order' that breaches human rights.

As I support human rights, I will support the re-use of the organs of dead people.

...but people's body parts aren't anyone elses to give away without permission. It's as simple as that. I can't see what you propose happening because it's wrong to steal and people don't have the right to give away things which aren't theirs.

You can't call a person a 'donor' if they're not donating. They would be a victim of theft. You'd have to call them a 'stolen'.

Whether people's arguments against donation are logical in your eyes or not is irrelevant. They are entitled to their beliefs because it's a free country. People believe in all sorts of crazy shit and whilst i hate religion people should be allowed to believe in whatever they like. I can't think of any logical reason not to donate either but when you start forcing people to do things is when you start taking away people's freedom and that's wrong. You wouldn't like to be forced into being a christian would you?

If its a choice between theft (of something that is no longer alive, and theft against someone who is now dead), or saving someone's life, what is the more moral choice? What should, by default, happen?

This isn't even an issue though if there are enough donors. It's a difficult one - is saving a few peoples lives worth sacrificing the freedom of humanity and the ownership of one's own body for. Taking people's organs may seem the right thing to do but it does come with a cost, one which involves stealing body parts. i think the best way to move forward is the not a donor card. Then if there is a shortage appeal to the public that they need more donors and show them the implications of not donating. If there is still a problem then only then is it time to consider an extreme decision. At the moment there aren't many donors and we don't hear much about it being a problem. It obviously is a problem but perhaps the not a donor card will eliminate the need for ever having to address theft of body parts as a solution. When such an extreme decision is necessary it should be put to a public vote.

Sometimes things which seem like the right thing to do make poor laws. Like if someone kills a friend or relative I may wish them dead. However, i think the death penalty is a crappy law as it gives the government control over who lives and dies without any proof needed just the opinion of a bunch of random strangers. It's also setting a bad example, punishing a murderer by killing them is making the judge and executioners murderers too.

Yeah that's cool, if the new donation by default scheme means that there is no longer a shortage, then nothing is gained by coercing people into it if they don't want to. I think because most people don't really care one way or another, they are simply too lazy to either opt-in or opt-out, therefore an opt-out scheme would infringe on no-one, and still save many lives.

It is unfortunately that many organs can't be used (disease, senescence, abuse, drugs, etc), so I don't know how the numbers would add up.

Yeah the current scheme doesn't work at all. I think everyone need to make a choice not just be able to avoid the issue. Then hopefully there would be enough donors.

If not and there was a shortage and people were dying and it went to public vote i may well vote yes because organs are no use to a dead person. however, i see that as a desperate measure.

Yeah, wise thinking. I'd vote for anything that would help save lives, too. I think everyone in this thread is for an opt-in system.

i'm not for an opt in- system.

clarification of prior entry

i am against all medical recycling of body matter. i see it as a form of cannibalism.

Re: clarification of prior entry

(1) What's wrong with cannibalism?

(2) Nature recycle's corpses, so why can't we? More than that, at present we cremate more bodies than we bury (due to space constraints, health reasons, etc), so it is even better for the environment to recycle.

(3) It's nothing like cannibalism; organ transplants are checked thoroughly before they are transplanted, there are far fewer health risks involved in having a transplant than in not having one when you need one.

Ask yourself this. What freedoms are you prepeared to give up to stop terrorists. At what point do you realise you would rather risk being blown up than loose a particular freedom?

If you belive freedoms are not worth dieing for why are you in the army, a place where should the need arise you will be exspected to risk your life, if not lay it down for the freedoms we hold dear?

1. Your logic again supports organ donation. If I fight (whilst alive, potentially getting blown up) for freedom, it surely means that if I value freedom, when I am dead my organs will be used to allow others to fight for their freedoms... and not die on organ-transplant waiting lists, which would result in an overall loss of freedom.

2. My personal circumstances are irrelevent to this thread. But, as you can see from point (1), it makes sense that if I value freedom and fight for it (and may even die for it), then, I am logically compelled to donate my organs so that others can live in order to fight for their freedom/life. If I said I valued freedom, but, then denied people the right to life once I myself was dead, then it would make no sense for me to say I stood for freedom or life.

Yes, it is true that people believe all kinds of crazy shit, but, it is also true that many crazy beliefs are illegal - take female circumcision. It's illegal because of the ('mere') suffering it causes. Using organs saves suffering, and more importantly saves lives... if we can legislate to end female circumcision, we can legislate to allow organ donation by default (and I think as the latter is more closely aligned with saving lives, there is greater moral and legal impetus for legislating in that direction).

I do believe we should have an exemption-clause simply because of the realities of the political system (votes, democracy, etc)... but to talk of 'rights', I don't think that people have the right to declare that their first post-humous choice will be to deny other people life. It's like manslaugher by neglect.

Even if "stolen" was the right word (a dead person doesn't have legal posessions, so its not theft), I would prefer that people steal (without causing any physical loss to the original owner), than that people suffer and die.

What is worse; theft of organs that are going to decay if otherwise left on their own, or having one person every day die whilst on organ waiting lists?

Female circumcision is the opposite though. That's the violation of someone's body. Just like taking someone's body parts without their consent is a violation of their body. Obviously not as severe as they're dead.

I don't know that it is; many of the girls involved vocalize consent for the procedure. In the UK, it is illegal whether consent is given or not, and it is also illegal (as some parents do it) to send children away to have it done abroad.

It is illegal because it causes brutal suffering, the same as letting organs decay in the ground/get burnt to a crisp, causes the continued suffering on many on waiting lists.

In their similarities, these two things show that if the aim is to reduce suffering and maintain rights, the rights of the living and the young have (or should have) precedence over the rights of the barbaric or dead.

Another example; it is illegal to allow bodies to decompose in the open because of the serious risk of disease. It doesn't matter what the bodies' previous mind wanted: if people want their bodies to decay in the open, they can't, because it is a benefit to society as a whole not to let them.

It's not violation of someones' body when those organs are going to rapidly decay naturally, and get eaten by worms.

(Deleted comment)
I like that system. In terms of saving lives, the following I think, so far, are most effective:

1) All corpses have their working organs salvaged, so that they can all save other lives.

2) An opt-out scheme allows exceptions to (1), so that most organs can save lives.

3) Your system: Driving licenses contain a note on postmortem disposal, so, many more people say yes, than at present.

4) An opt-in system, which saves far too few people. (The stat I heard: one person a day dies whilst waiting for an organ that would save them)

I hadn't thought of (3) until you said that about USA driving licenses.

organ donation is far more complex than you think. as a satanist, dont you suspect any sinister implications or possibilities at all in the implementation of this? Or are you playing devil's advocate? i dont get your trust in the system on this matter.
why assume spain has a good system? animal rights, franco, inquisition, opus dei....
future(or present ) medical possibilities may make systematic state control of body matter incredibly dangerous for the citizens. body matter is a profit making industry. the state may just be enabling itself to cash in or to legalize activities it already practises.
the questions are too endless and unanswered to proceed with this. what would the state do with reproductive matter obtained by default? why are the sick entitled automatically? do you know who these sick people are? are they robert mugabe, tony blair, a top surgeon, a person who's life of dissipation has ruined their liver?
cosmetic surgery is not the world apart from other medicine that you may imagine. what are the systems real intentions and motives and the service it intends in the cause of provision of materials for lifestyle surgery for the "entitled " among us. managing/controlling/administering the system is whose role?
Administratve overempowerment and inherent dangers to the citizen's human rights are a good reason not to legalize default donation. the system cannot be trusted. they cant handle their current level of default power in this area. it is incredibly dangerous to believe they have our best interests in mind and we would have to ignore all accumulated knowledge about human behaviour and the behaviour of the state to do so.

Re: organ donorship

I see no sinister implications.

(1) It doesn't matter if individual countries have "good systems" for the management, storing, distribution, of organs. But, most European countries have comprehensive and regular health industries which have been managing organ storage & distribution well for a number of decades.

(2) You said "state control of body matter incredibly dangerous for the citizens", but don't forget we are talking about dead citizens. The state cannot possibly make anything any worse for dead people. On the other hand, when state body-management systems break down (morgues fill up, cemetaries fill up, cremations stop), the disadvantages are far, far greater. Bodies strewn on streets are the cause of major epidemic and serious illnesses; all post-war and post-disaster environments are incredibly dangerous due to the water-bourne illnesses caused from untended rotting corpses. Government intervention is essential for the good of everyone; it makes little difference what the government chooses to do with the bodies. Mostly, they are cremated, which is a waste.

(3) The medical industry's job is to save lives; in good hospitals, they will do this and it doesn't matter whose life it is, nor the crimes the person has committed. So, war-crimes prisoners are still given treatment. It is not the job of the medical profession to choose who is 'worthy'. But, the only problem at the moment is shortage of supply, meaning that people end up on waiting lists and have to be prioritized. This is the present weakspot in the system, because it allows an element of human judgement in placing people on the lists. If organ donation was default, there would be less chance for human corruption, as no-one would have to be put on the bottom, or top, of lists.

(4) Managing the system, at the moment, is done by professional medical companies, hospitals, etc. Organ donation is not new. The present system has not suffered from abuse, I see no reason to see that an enlarged system would be worse.

You keep talking about "trust" etc, but I cannot possibly see what you are talking about. No rights are infringed (dead people are, by definition, dead - what's the government going to do, stop them voting or tap their phone lines?), and I can't think of what possible "abuses" of the system you are talking about. If organs can be sold, then fine, if they are used, that's fine too because it saves lives. Some organs are used in medical research at universities: that is also fine.

What are you scared of? What rights do you think the government is taking away from dead people, which aren't already taken away by the present laws on disposals of bodies?

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