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In Israel, Potential Organ Donors Could Jump the Queue

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the unorthodox-move dept.

Medicine 582

laron writes "In Israel, a new law is in the making: Holders of donor cards and their families would get preference if they should need an organ for themselves. Apparently this initiative faces resistance from Orthodox rabbis, who hold that organ donation is against religious law. Jacob Lavee, director of the heart transplant unit at Israel's Sheba Medical Center, and one of the draftees of this new law, hopes that a broader pool of organs will ultimately benefit everyone, but acknowledges that one of his primary motivations is 'to prevent free riders.' (Apparently receiving an organ is OK under religious law.)"

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pig heart donors however (4, Funny)

goffster (1104287) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478574)

can go to the end of the line

Re:pig heart donors however (2, Funny)

MrDoh! (71235) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478580)

Mmm, Bacon.

It actually makes sense (1)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478598)

Seriously. I'll give you mine if you give me yours.*

* In the event of spectacular untimely demise.

Re:pig heart donors however (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478616)

Off topic or not, the sig at the bottom of the page at the moment says:

Tip of the Day: Never fry bacon in the nude. [Correction: always fry bacon in the nude; you'll learn not to burn it]

Such quandaries.

Register to donate organs in the USA online! (3, Informative)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478924)

Click here for a list of state agencies that handle organ donation:
 
  http://organdonor.gov/donor/registry.shtm [organdonor.gov]
 
It only takes about 30 seconds to register online.

Re:pig heart donors however (4, Informative)

Paradigm_Complex (968558) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478836)

I realize you meant that as a joke, but in case anyone was curious it is okay under Jewish law (as interpreted by most Jews, reform conservative and most orthodox) to receive something along those lines. For the most part, if it's for medical purposes, pork is fine. Saving a life takes precedence here.

This law is WRONG (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31478576)

because it might just save the life of a few jews.

I suggest we better pass a law that forbids organ donations to jews.

Re:This law is WRONG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31478706)

In Israel they are all Jews!

Re:This law is WRONG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31478730)

In parts of Palestine they're all Jews too!

Interesting (3, Interesting)

Slack0ff (590042) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478582)

It's always a tough call when you're talking about life and death and major elective surgeries. But I find myself thinking this is a good thing, that makes sense?

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31478636)

No, not really.

Hey guise (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31478594)

Religion is awesome is it not?

Re:Hey guise (5, Insightful)

IICV (652597) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478840)

Yeah, I don't understand this. Their religion comes from a time when cutting-edge surgery involved a dull axe, some grain alcohol (to get the surgeon's courage up) and maybe some hot tar if you were lucky. How can they possibly justify applying a book written by a bunch of shepherds and nomads to something as modern as organ transplantation?

And if they think that God intended for His holy book to say something about organ transplants, wouldn't it be right there where it's obvious (like say in the ten commandments), and not hidden away in some obscure little passage?

Re:Hey guise (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478938)

Traffic signals close to Synagogues in my city run automatic pedestrian movements on Saturdays because people walking to the Synagogue won't press the button.

Joseph Guttnick [wikipedia.org] wouldn't watch the football on Saturday but he did hire non-jewish security guards to watch it for him.

Never even thought about it (5, Interesting)

OrwellianLurker (1739950) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478600)

I've been an organ donor since I got my license when I was sixteen. I never really considered that people who WERE NOT organ donors would receive the same treatment in regards to their placement on the the list of people in need of an organ transplant. Total bullshit.

Re:Never even thought about it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31478770)

Being an organ donor is an unselfish thing to do. I personally would recommend it... However to play the devils advocate..

Organs are huge $$$ you never know if doctors would be less willing to try and save your ass from dieing by prematurely transitioning into organ harvesting mode. (Brrraaaiinnnnsssss!!)

Recommend when making a decision on wether to be a donor you at least fully understand the state of play WRT political and economic pressures involved in your local region. In some parts of the world your response if you even have a choice should be *HELL NO*

Re:Never even thought about it (1, Flamebait)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478888)

The very fact that your doctors can receive money for your organs shows a flawed system.

Why would they want a sinner's organs anyway? (2, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478602)

It's apparent their time is out, why are the orthodox trying to subvert god's will? Don't they want to go to heaven?

Re:Why would they want a sinner's organs anyway? (2)

Zapotek (1032314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478772)

Unless you're a hardcore brainwashed fanatic suicide bomber, religion pretty much goes out the window when your life's on the line...

Re:Why would they want a sinner's organs anyway? (4, Funny)

linzeal (197905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478800)

A lot of Jewish folk in the US have pig valves in them. There are tons of heart and vascular problems that have nothing to do with diet in some of their communities, it is sort of heartbreaking.

Re:Why would they want a sinner's organs anyway? (0, Troll)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478826)

At least the "hardcore brainwashed fanatic suicide bomber"s stand by what they believe and go with it, that I can respect! Even if they are crazy at least they are being good people within those bounds.

On the otherhand, saying you believe one thing but then going crying to science when you are in trouble is horrible. And it is these half-assed religious people that allow the religions to perpetuate. Causing arguably more harm over time.

Re:Why would they want a sinner's organs anyway? (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478996)

Jewish law doesn't prohibit anything involving pigs except for eating them, and praying in places where you can smell them. Get your facts straight before you blathering on about the corruption of a religion you don't know much about.

Re:Why would they want a sinner's organs anyway? (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 4 years ago | (#31479032)

There are plenty of mormons (or is it Jehovas Witnesses?) who would disagree when it comes to blood transfusions. I'd hardly say the same people are about to blow themselves up in a terrorist attack.

But hey, at least you'll get modded up by the anti-religious types who come here.

An atheist who respects other people's ability to have different beliefs.

Re:Why would they want a sinner's organs anyway? (1)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478830)

Everyone goes to heaven, but there's no reason it has to be sooner rather than later. God can wait the extra few decades before re-making your acquaintance.

Re:Why would they want a sinner's organs anyway? (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 4 years ago | (#31479038)

Citation needed ;)

Re:Why would they want a sinner's organs anyway? (3, Insightful)

Paradigm_Complex (968558) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478872)

That'd be an odd statement from anyone familiar with Judaism itself, as opposed to someone generalizing it along with other religions.

According to most Jews' interpretation of Jewish law, saving lives takes priority over nearly everything else. This is why, for example, taking pig insulin is perfectly okay.

Consider the stereotype of Jews being doctors. Jews, in general, don't like throwing lives away.

Re:Why would they want a sinner's organs anyway? (2, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478960)

According to most Jews' interpretation of Jewish law, saving lives takes priority over nearly everything else. This is why, for example, taking pig insulin is perfectly okay.

And yet, being an organ donor isn't.

crazy hypocrites (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478606)

That position sounds so insane, that I thought that there must be more to it than that, but no, it really is that hypocritical. Check out this quote from the article:

"If I can't contribute organs because of my religious beliefs, the state shouldn't be allowed to harm me,"

Seriously? This is the kind of stuff Jesus was criticizing in the bible: he tried to show that loving each other and helping each other out is more important than following the law to exactness. Fortunately it is a minority that feel this way, most of the rabbis in Israel are more sane (according to the article).

Re:crazy hypocrites (2, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478664)

That position sounds so insane, that I thought that there must be more to it than that, but no, it really is that hypocritical.

That's the religious right. Doesn't matter which religion. The Islamic, Jewish, and Christian far right have much in common - ODing on prayer, oppressing women, having big families, keeping kids from learning too much about the real world, enforcing nutty rules, and demanding tax subsidies. They even have similar looking leaders - old guys with long beards wearing black.

Re:crazy hypocrites (5, Interesting)

story645 (1278106) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478682)

oppressing women

The funny thing about the far right Jews is that most of the guys are in some form of learning program, so the women are often the primary breadwinners. This leads to the average Jewish woman on the far right having more education and job training than her husband.

Re:crazy hypocrites (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478742)

The idea that political allegiances are predicated upon genetic markers that has been thrown around lately has me thinking what we will do when we have this knowledge out there in the open?

Will extremists of all sorts use this knowledge of, " the way your heart and mind lies " so that they can only have the most rabid and devoted followers in their missions, be they military or ecclesiastical?

Re:crazy hypocrites (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478912)

The idea that political allegiances are predicated upon genetic markers that has been thrown around lately

Oh no, genetic differences are only one of the many differences politicians use to divide us. It is just as easy to divide a people based on how they feel about evolution, or abortion, or global warming, or where they were born, or their accent or their eye color, or whether they believe in witches. There is no need for science to get in the way either, think of how intense people get about the global warming debate, where the majority of arguments on both sides have absolutely nothing to do with science. It's sad, actually how easy we are to manipulate, but to end on an optimistic note, I feel with the advent of the internet and globalization (I know some people hate that, but oh well), people are starting to realize we are actually all more alike than we are different. Things are getting better.

If you've noticed that lately government has gotten more corrupt, it's not because they are actually more corrupt, it's because the corruption is getting harder to hide as more people pay attention. That's a good thing.

Re:crazy hypocrites (3, Funny)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478874)

They even have similar looking leaders - old guys with long beards wearing black.

And of course, they have formed a coalition to control the world through the sound of awesome rock music, otherwise known as ZZ Top.

Re:crazy hypocrites (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 4 years ago | (#31479004)

They even have similar looking leaders - old guys with long beards wearing black.

Didn't know that about ZZ-Top

Re:crazy hypocrites (1)

HoppQ (29469) | more than 4 years ago | (#31479090)

They even have similar looking leaders - old guys with long beards wearing black.

Didn't know that about ZZ-Top

Quite frankly the world would be a better place if people followed the teachings of ZZ Top as opposed to e.g. the Pope.

Re:crazy hypocrites (4, Interesting)

Tom90deg (1190691) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478714)

It's always very difficult when religion and medicine clash. If you're a doctor, chances are good that at some point, someone will refuse treatment because of their religious beliefs. Most of the time it's "Whatever, you'll be in pain for the next two weeks, but that's your choice." but it's gets much much harder if say, a little girl is brought in with a fever that's getting worse. "No problem, give her some basic meds, and she'll be good to go." you'd think, and then her parents show up and say, "You can't give her any medication." And you know that without it, the girl WILL die, or at best have severe brain damage. Try to explain this to the parents, and they just say, "It's our beliefs, no medicine can be given." And legally, you can't do anything, and if you DO give the girl medicaiton and save her life, you can and will be sued for malpractice.

I don't mind religion, so long as it doesn't harm anyone, but people who would actually think, "We would rather our child die then be given medicine." I just don't understand.

Re:crazy hypocrites (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31478832)

I don't mind religion, so long as it doesn't harm anyone, but people who would actually think, "We would rather our child die then be given medicine." I just don't understand.

Suddenly "Will no one think of the children!" is a good thing on Slashdot? Well, that's news.

Why is it always the same old bullshit when people want to control others? First you try to assert some bogus financial interest in imposing your way -- "But what he wants to do will lower my property value or cause my insurance or tax rates to rise." If that canard doesn't work, claim an interest (as an uninvolved third party with no legal standing) on behalf of "the children" even (or especially) if you were too selfish to have any of your own.

Beautiful, fucking beautiful. Buncha goddamned hypocrites.

Re:crazy hypocrites (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 4 years ago | (#31479070)

This isn't a mere throwaway line though. Answer the question: Do you allow someone to force an incompetent person to forgo life saving medical procedures?

Re:crazy hypocrites (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31478778)

This is the kind of stuff Jesus was criticizing in the bible

Jesus is not high on the orthodox required reading list.

Hah!!! captcha = ducked

Re:crazy hypocrites (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478796)

To be honest, it really doesn't matter. Jesus based his entire message on the law of Moses, and, as the article mentions, most rabbis agree with him on this point.

Re:crazy hypocrites (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31478780)

Seriously? This is the kind of stuff Jesus was criticizing in the bible: he tried to show that loving each other and helping each other out is more important than following the law to exactness.

*cough* They're jewish. Jesus never happened.

Re:crazy hypocrites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31478994)

If they uphold religious beliefs like not being allowed to donate organs... Here's an idea to ponder. How about a religion that doesn't allow you to donate to people of other religions?

Hypothetically, you could have a religion that requires you only donate organs to other people of the same religion... and anyone that really care's about living would just waiver their religious beliefs by ticking that box on the form and claim to be from of that religion too to get access to an extended pool of donors.

Re:crazy hypocrites (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 4 years ago | (#31479058)

This is the kind of stuff Jesus was criticizing in the bible

Jewish people aren't exactly well known for following the teachings of Christ.

Amazing (0, Troll)

The Clockwork Troll (655321) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478614)

Supertramp forecasted this eventuality in 1979's "Give a Little Bit" (from Breakfast in America). Their prescience continues to astound.

Opt-out (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31478620)

I never understood why organ donation is opt-in rather than opt-out.

I can understand having religious convictions not to be a donor but the default ought to be "your organs are up for grabs"

Re:Opt-out (1)

laron (102608) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478678)

I would like to see a law of this type combined with a decision: When you renew your driver's license, national ID card or whatever, you have to decide if you would like to participate in organ transplantation (on the donating end only once you are dead of course). This decision is marked in your driver license, so easy to find if you should be a victim of a traffic accident or something like that.

Re:Opt-out (1)

dodocaptain (1177567) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478732)

This is the case here in New Zealand, if you are a donor, it is marked on your drivers license, however organs can still only be taken with permission of family members, if they refuse it overrides your choice to donate.

Re:Opt-out (2, Insightful)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478768)

Same in the US. I was about to make some snide comment to the effect that that's bass-ackwards too...

That's not right. I can make up my mind for myself. It's a deeply, deeply personal choice that really cuts the the heart of what you believe about life.

It'd be one thing if I refrained from answering (in which case it should be up to them), but if I decided one way or the other that decision should be honored.

While I love and trust my family, they shouldn't be making that decision for me - nor should they be allowed to.

The way the system should work: Default is "not stated" in which case they ask the closest family members - without family members, default to 'yes'. You can state "yes" or "no", which is permanent unless you change it (which should be easy).

Is it more complicated then I'm seeing?

Re:Opt-out (1)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478688)

Don't you watch TV or the movies? Something like 90% of doctors* are unscrupulous bastards who would happily sell your organs to rich people who need new kidneys/hearts/lungs/corneas/whatever. If you had to opt-out, how many more victims would these butchers have their pick of?

*at least, the doctors in said TV shows and movies

Re:Opt-out (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478710)

They're opt-out in many European countries today.

Re:Opt-out (3, Informative)

Animaether (411575) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478726)

I never understood why organ donation is opt-in rather than opt-out.

It's a good question - good luck getting any answers, though.

This has been playing in The Netherlands for a long time now - seems to pop up every few years.

In 1998 the centralized 'donor register' was started. People can indicate that they want to be a donor, what bits and pieces, that sort of thing.. or indicate that they do -not- want to be a donor. So it's opt-in - by default, if you're not registered / don't have aything written down in your will, your next of kin may decide (in which case 75% of the decisions on this are made against donating organs from the deceased).
In 2002 the 'minister of health' said there would be no change for at least 2 years, after 2/3rds of the government decisionmakers decided against an opt-out system.
In 2005, another voting round was held... 78 against, 68 -for- an opt-out system.
I think there was another debate in 2008 or early 2009 but can't find a reference now.

None of the press articles on these state why they were against an opt-out system, though. Only statements such as being in favor of promoting becoming a donor, or at least registering - regardless of your choice.

I'm guessing it's got to do with the taboo on death that still lingers - probably even moreso in the U.S.

Either that or they fear that somebody would find out that you actively said "no, you can't take my organs", and then couple this to other databases / provisions / label you a cold, selfish, heartless (can't donate that, then!) bastard, etc.

I'm all for opt-out, with parents/guardians decision up to age 12, at which point anybody can decide for themselves, and at younger ages if the child can demonstrate that they do indeed know what they are deciding on, the consequences, etc. should it come to it that the parent(s)/guardian(s) disagree with the child.
( My Sister's Keeper was an interesting, albeit superficial, exploration of that theme )

devil-get_advocate() (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31478946)

I never understood why organ donation is opt-in rather than opt-out.

I can understand having religious convictions not to be a donor but the default ought to be "your organs are up for grabs"

People don't just oppose organ donation for religious reasons. Harvesting cadavers for scrap parts to extends the life of people whose time has come? Some people oppose this ridiculous cult of life, trying to extend this miserable existence by partially resurrecting the deceased and stagger on through life for another year or two with a zombie organ or two.

Now, surgeons are already arguing for extracting organs from the dying before they are dead, so that the spare parts are nice and fresh. All that pressure a surgeon is under when a nice and beloved hot chick lies in critical condition, and I'm in there for an in grown toenail... why not let the smelly curmudgeon die to save her. But sure go ahead and pillage my dying carcass. Don't waste the scraps, you could make a nice stew.

Re:Opt-out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31478958)

I can understand having religious convictions not to be a donor but the default ought to be "your organs are up for grabs"

Not on an unrestricted basis. A lot of people become donors with the intent of helping others. But many of the donated parts are sold for damned good prices through middlemen.

I don't care if they scrap me out, but not to aggrandize some ghoulish bastard out to make money off me.

Personally I also have qualms about the general attitude of the entire medical profession about donations, either blood or organs. The entire medical chain makes billions off of donations. Yet they constantly fight any laws compensating donors, with the possible exception of strictly compensatory living and medical expenses for surrogate mothers. "How dare any lowlife feed at our table, even the scraps" seems to be the attitude.

Yet these same munificent people will also fight tooth and nail to lay claim to the benefits of any discovery made from the unique biology of some patients. Consider the case, recently documented on PBS, of a cancer therapy derived from unique cells they took from an indigent black woman.

While you're at it. think of the medicines derived by investigating the age-old herbal knowledge of primitive peoples. Go to the areas where they live, extract their healing knowledge, then return to the labs and derive a patentable medicine with no compensation of any kind to the people who were the source of the life-giving knowledge.

Buncha fucking leeches.

awesome (3, Interesting)

story645 (1278106) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478622)

Maybe this will open up more discussion of the religious permissibility of organ donations, which is a topic that's nowhere near as black and white as some people make it out to be. Plenty of orthodox rabbis also say donating is permissible (as far as I've heard from members of the New York ultra-orthodox contingent) in a lot of circumstances, but their voices seem to get drowned out far too often. I'd love to see some real discussion of the topic, so while yeah the measure is radical, it's also kind of brilliant. It's also an interesting approach to tackling the religious/secular divide in Israel, which makes the American one look downright friendly.

Re:awesome (2, Informative)

chrb (1083577) | more than 4 years ago | (#31479054)

Plenty of orthodox rabbis also say donating is permissible (as far as I've heard from members of the New York ultra-orthodox contingent)

It has also been argued that trafficking in human organs on the black market [nydailynews.com] and laundering the money [msn.com] is also religiously permitted (when it saves lives, apparently - the lucrative profits are completely coincidental)...

Many Orthodox Rabbis encourage organ donation (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31478646)

Israel has various religious sub-groups, and it's only in the extreme orthodox group (Haredim) that organ donation is problematic. In the moderate orthodox community some rabbis have suggested that it's an obligation to sign the donation card.

Religious bullcrap is commonplace here (2, Interesting)

dushkin (965522) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478650)

Oh yeah. It's everywhere.

For instance around late March and early April we'll have passover. It's forbidden to eat anything yeasty or something like that on passover, so no beer, whiskey or more importantly: bread.

See, I always bring a sandwich with me to work and eat at my desk. It's what I do. I like having my sandwich for lunch because I don't feel like heading to the kitchen. But now I'll have to find an alternative because my office is apparently supposed to be kept kosher for passover.

Nobody honestly cares in my department, and not in any of the neighboring departments, and not my boss(es).

How can I have my sandwich without bread? :(

Re:Religious bullcrap is commonplace here (1)

Al Dimond (792444) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478810)

What kind of place do you work where the whole office is supposed to keep kosher? Unless you work for a religious Jewish organization that's kind of insane.

Re:Religious bullcrap is commonplace here (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478926)

Lettuce wrap? Cuts down on calories too.

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Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31478652)

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Sounds fair (5, Insightful)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478668)

I may be missing something, and feel free to tell me. But I have no problem with donors being higher on the list. It makes sense to reward altruism in society and this certainly fits the bill. Sure some religions might interject, but just like organ donation religious practices are a choice and like every choice they carry consequences. That's not to say non-donors shouldn't get organs, but they should not be the priority.

Re:Sounds fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31478718)

I would totally be in favor of denying organs to non-donors.

Re:Sounds fair (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478740)

That's just silly.

Giving donors preference makes sense.

Throwing away a perfectly good organ because there are no donors who need it and are a match for transplantation purposes is ridiculous. The non-donor got lucky in that case no need to let them die just to spite them.

Re:Sounds fair (1)

A1rmanCha1rman (885378) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478932)

Sounds like a sensible and fair measure, until it comes under test itself by extenuating circumstances, like someone who has a significant involvement in the greater good (e.g socially, scientifically or in a critical peace process) but not a registered organ donor being passed over in favour of one simply because that's the new rule.

As usual, this will probably go unnoticed until some pretty serious consequences emerge in hindsight.

There are always two sides to the coin.

Re:Sounds fair (0)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478776)

Sounds great to me. I'd extend it to blood donors, with quantity donated moving you further up.

Humans aren't altruistic in general. It's nothing to be ashamed of - we're programmed to think of ourselves first. Aligning altruistic acts and self-preservation sounds like a great way to encourage altruistic behavior.

Re:Sounds fair (1, Insightful)

keeboo (724305) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478812)

Humans aren't altruistic in general. It's nothing to be ashamed of - we're programmed to think of ourselves first. Aligning altruistic acts and self-preservation sounds like a great way to encourage altruistic behavior.

There's nothing altruistic when you do something expecting to be rewarded somehow.

Re:Sounds fair (2, Insightful)

Krahar (1655029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478842)

Generally more blood is stored than is needed for patients to not start dying. So tying receiving blood to blood donation would result in a situation where the doctor has a cheap, easy and viable way to save his patient, but he then does not because it has been decided some people don't deserve it. That's just nasty.

Re:Sounds fair (4, Insightful)

laron (102608) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478858)

I'd be wary of that. There are a lot of people who can't donate blood for many reasons and I wouldn't like to put them at a disadvantage.

If you have to take heavy medication that makes your organs unsuitable for example, it shouldn't affect your priority to receive organs. It would turn your consent to donate into an empty formality of course.

Re:Sounds fair (1)

evilbessie (873633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31479050)

It should be done on the willingness to donate, not actual donating, as that would be somewhat counter productive, only putting donor organs into those who donate them...

Re:Sounds fair (1)

NeuralAbyss (12335) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478862)

Sounds great to me. I'd extend it to blood donors, with quantity donated moving you further up.

I'd support this, provided we eliminated the discrimination present in various countries' blood donation rules. It's still legal for groups such as the Red Cross to discriminate against homosexuals, reinforcing the view of risk-taking sexual behaviour being prevalent only in the homosexual community, and not the populus at large.

Re:Sounds fair (5, Interesting)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478922)

Sounds great to me. I'd extend it to blood donors, with quantity donated moving you further up.

I'd support this, provided we eliminated the discrimination present in various countries' blood donation rules. It's still legal for groups such as the Red Cross to discriminate against homosexuals, reinforcing the view of risk-taking sexual behaviour being prevalent only in the homosexual community, and not the populus at large.

This is just silly. My wife was a floor nurse for many years. She had a needle stick while taking care of an AIDS patient in the early 1980s, and has been excluded from giving blood ever since. Why on earth should someone like her should be lower in the queue than some blowhard from Slashdot? Have you ever taken care of people dying from a yet-little-understood disease?

Re:Sounds fair (2, Insightful)

EnglishTim (9662) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478870)

There's a sufficiently large section of the population that cannot give blood that such a suggestion would be unworkable.

Re:Sounds fair (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478852)

Well, to want an organ but not willing to be a donor sounds hypocritical.

Re:Sounds fair (1, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478982)

Well, to want an organ but not willing to be a donor sounds hypocritical.

Unless, of course, being a potential donor makes you more likely to die. The dark side of this sort of policy is that someone decides whether you live or die. If you have a lot of good organs, they might well decide to let you die in favor of a sicker patient.

A couple more points to consider. The bias is unlikely to result in many more organs. The pool of needy organ recipients isn't particularly large compared to the total population and such people aren't likely when they die to be healthy enough to provide organs. Second, hypocritical people have just as much right to live as anyone else.

The altruism motive sounds adequate to me. I don't like it since I think we'd be better off economically and morally paying money to donors (and of course, their inheritors when appropriate). It also provides an avenue for doctors to make life and death decisions based on moral judgments. Still, there's a bunch of people who need organs and a bunch of people who could provide them. It's better than nothing, I suppose.

Re:Sounds fair (1)

JaumPaw (48149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31479092)

Actually, that's very hard to do here in Israel.
There's a disagreement between the doctors and the rabbis about the determination of death - some of the organ donations are made impossible by it because the body is kept too long after the (from the medical point of view, for it to be useful in a transplant) moments of death. But we have pretty damn doctors here (though grossly overworked) so guess it balances it a bit.
 

How about an option (5, Insightful)

rm999 (775449) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478676)

Instead of 2 choices (donor or non-donor), how about a third category: donor with preference to other donors. This takes the decision away from the government and to the owner of the organs.

I'm sure some people would be willing to donate to anyone, but the majority would choose the new third option.

Re:How about an option (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478936)

+1 Excellent Idea

Mod parent up (1)

tsadi (576706) | more than 4 years ago | (#31479022)

I agree. This is a very good idea!

Not always against religious law (5, Informative)

miasmatic (740281) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478684)

Organ donation is NOT always against Jewish law (Halacha). In fact there is almost always a way that it is totally fine and even further, there are interpretations that suggest that not being an organ donor is a violation of Halacha! Please see http://hods.org/ [hods.org] for a very good observant Jewish organization that seeks to make more orthodox Jews organ donors.

Re:Not always against religious law (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31478890)

It's permissible as long as you can guarantee that the beneficiary is a Jew.

some inaccuracies (2, Informative)

MajSh (1139279) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478686)

Organ donation doesn't conflict with the Jewish religion, in fact there is a religious law that authorizes it under few minor limitations. Also, the law is widely supported by most Israelis, there's a very small orthodox minority that doesn't support it because the public they represent has a low percentage of organ donor card holders and not due to a conflict with religion.

Why Am I Not Surprised (0)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478694)

So all these old geezers who are most likely to find themselves in need of a new kidney or liver think it's just fine to receive one, but they use their influence to stop "devout" followers from donating them. As far as I'm concerned, if you don't have a signed organ donor card, you don't deserve to receive a transplanted organ. No exceptions. And for that matter, other members of your family shouldn't be allowed on the recipient list either.

It's long past time we stopped allowing practitioners of primitive superstition to dictate the workings of a modern society.

That's a good idea (2, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478698)

Why should you get a organ from someone who just died if you aren't willing to give the same if you die?

Except for the group of people who have something that means they aren't candidates for organ donations but are candidates for organ transplant (I don't know if there is such a pair, but you don't take organs from people with aids or numerous other illnesses) - they are going to get the short end of the stick. Though it's a simple exception to add.

Seems fine... (3, Interesting)

Entropius (188861) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478712)

Normal rules of ethics dictate that the commons should be more willing to help someone out if they're willing to donate to the commons too. This is related to the idea behind the GPL. If you have two friends who are short a buck for lunch, you're more likely to give your only dollar to the one who's more likely to spot you when you come up short.

Just because organ donation is a matter of life and death doesn't mean that it plays by any different rules than "ordinary" ethics -- it just means the stakes for getting it right are that much higher. The commons should encourage people to contribute /to/ the commons, thereby enriching everyone, and rules like this are just one way to do it.

And this sort of ethics is independent of anyone's primitive superstitions. Superstitions are fine -- believe whatever you want -- but don't expect reality to change to suit them.

Free Market solution (1)

kainosnous (1753770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478746)

The problem here is not a religious one, but an economical one. There is a greater demand than supply, and thus scarcity: the fundamental reason for economics. The trouble with a government trying to regulate the distribution of goods is that they must make decisions that will hurt some people and help others. Basically, they have to define what is "fair", and it is usually an arbitrary decision. Most often, the decision is left to who can bribe the politicians the most, and therefore relating back to money anyways.

According to the article, there seems to be some occasions where they don't mind donating an organ and therefore may be willing to give something in return. Of course, if this had anything at all to do with religious beliefs, then anybody who believes God is powerful enough to enforce a rule will believe He is powerful enough to provide when that rule is followed. Anything else seems to me more like a social club.

Good thinking! (1)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478748)

Apparently this initiative faces resistance from Orthodox rabbis, who hold that organ donation is against religious law.

There's a shortage of donors as it is where too many are dragging their feet when it comes to registering. This new rule seems to make the "game" fairer.

But how I understand it, orthodox who explicitly refuse donating organs apparently want to dictate rules for matches they don't even participate in. What's it then? Do they want be in front of the queue for accepting organs? Play the game or leave the table. Another fine example of religious representatives imposing themselves, interpreting the word of God.

Re:Good thinking! (1)

NoxNoctis (936876) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478774)

There's a shortage of donors as it is where too many are dragging their feet when it comes to registering. This new rule seems to make the "game" fairer.

I've never really seen it as a game myself. To me it is just a way to turn your own grief in to someone's joy. Is that really so bad? While I do not possess a donor card, I've made my wishes perfectly clear to those who would be making decisions on my behalf should something happen.

But how I understand it, orthodox who explicitly refuse donating organs apparently want to dictate rules for matches they don't even participate in. What's it then? Do they want be in front of the queue for accepting organs? Play the game or leave the table. Another fine example of religious representatives imposing themselves, interpreting the word of God.

Yes, yes, and yes. You have to remember that the religious leaders in biblical times were the law. Even if how they interpreted the word of God was horribly inaccurate and plainly only for their benefit, people went with it. Even in modern times, these "leaders" still seem to be nothing more than a cleaned up version of a mob boss.

Orthodox rabbis? (1, Informative)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478782)

Orthodox Judaism considers it obligatory if it will save a life, as long as the donor is considered dead as defined by Jewish law (from Wikipedia)

What gives? Can anyone shed light on this?

Re:Orthodox rabbis? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31478906)

The primary issue surrounds heart donation, which must be done when the heart is still beating. Some Orthodox authorities consider the continued beating of the heart to constitute life, and for this reason they prohibit heart donations. Others accept the more widely held position that cessation of brain function constitutes death, this makes it possible to donate the heart after the brain has died but while it is still beating.
Donation of most other organs can take place even after the heart has stopped beating, that is more widely accepted by many orthodox rabbis.

There's alot of literature about this issue at http://hods.org/

It is certainly hypocritical to refuse to donate but want to receive. I think this legislation is brilliant because it makes people live with the consequences of their action or inaction.

Re:Orthodox rabbis? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478964)

Heh.....this is a classic slashdot comment. You wanted to know the answer, weren't afraid of the effort necessary to find it on the internet, and STILL weren't willing to read the article. Here's the answer FTA:

Yosef Sholom Elyashiv takes a different view, and he is one of ultra-Orthodox Jewry's most influential leaders, claiming 100,000 followers among Israel's 6 million Jews. Elyashiv forbids organ donation before cardiac death, but allows his followers to receive lifesaving donations....

Most leading Orthodox rabbis -- as well as Israeli law -- agree that a person dies when his brain-stem stops functioning. A minority opinion, endorsed by Elyashiv, holds that as long as a person's heart beats he or she is alive and therefore the organs cannot be harvested. Donation in Israel after cardiac death is rare and only done in special circumstances.

If I were into crafts and Slashdot paraphernalia I would print your comment and frame it.

Re:Orthodox rabbis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31479008)

Good to know, I'll make sure to add you to my list of "people who are giant pricks to anyone with legitimate questions".

Re:Orthodox rabbis? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31479064)

It's not a legitimate question when the answer is easily found by anyone willing to look for it.

Re:Orthodox rabbis? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31478978)

Under Jewish (Orthodox) Law you are only allowed to donate body parts that will save a life. So a heart is OK, but a cornea is not. So on the Israeli donor form, you tick the boxes of which body parts you are prepared to donate

Simple... (1)

meekg (30651) | more than 4 years ago | (#31479018)

Religious law may allow it, but religious people won't donate - it's a cultural thing. They still want the organs when they need them though.

Re:Orthodox rabbis? (1)

tsirkin (1767574) | more than 4 years ago | (#31479042)

Well,the _ donation _ is not a problem .The problem is :
When do you consider a person dead ,so you can use his organs?
This is _ not _ a simple question to ask.
The current knowledge in medicine says the moment of death is the "brain death".
However this is not so simple.
If there _ is _ a possibility of a person to be back alive after a "brain death" then taking his organs is
pratically killing him ,right?
This "moment of death" is the real Judaism problem .
While doctors say it is OK to take your organs ,how do you make sure of two things:
1. The person is _ really _ dead (when we think of a person as dead?)
2. Why would you trust _ any _ doctor on such a thing?
So ,there are two main opinions in Judaism:
1. The moment of death is the brain death ,_ but _ to make sure that person is really dead
      there is a need of more then just one doctor to decide .Let say we need two doctors to say
      that and one _ none _ doctor to see that the two other guys are not going to just kill somebody
      for money.
      There is a law in preparing actually in Isarel that makes all this to happen.

2. The moment of death is the moment of heart actually stopping.
        This is _ against _ of current science ,however I would not trust a science for this, science changes.

Note however that if an organ was _ already _ taken than the person is already dead anyway and thus
the "receiving an organ is OK under religious law".
Just trying to clear thing out.

I'm a donor. Are you? (1)

TheMiddleRoad (1153113) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478868)

If you're not a donor, you're a douche bag. Sign the card or whatever it is in your state. Let your loved ones know. You might save a life.

Re:I'm a donor. Are you? (1, Interesting)

Dr.Syshalt (702491) | more than 4 years ago | (#31479006)

You might save a life.

...Or you might lose your own life [lgtinc.org] in some circumstances as well.

It's Not Just The Rabbis (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478902)

There are nuts in every religion. Those Orthodox rabbis need to get control of their minds and stop with these ancient laws and notions. Being able to receive an organ but not donate one is flat out loonie tunes. After all when you get an organ the bad organ gets tossed in the trash so your corpse is not completely you when you eventually pass away. Some of these rabbis are as off the wall as the Moslem idiots who blow themselves up.

The other side (1)

physicsphairy (720718) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478910)

Will a healthy "non-donator" be put far behind, for example, other persons likely to die/reject the transplant? If the free-loaders are a small minority one would think it would be better to keep the emphasis on getting organs to the people who stand the best chances of being able to use them, rather than necessarily who has put in an equitable stake.

For that matter, although these people may not have volunteered their organs, if they pay taxes they are still contributing to Israel's socialized health care program. How much does that count for sharing the burden of these expensive procedures?

And will these people still have a reasonable chance of coming up on the waiting list, or are their prospects pretty much nullified? Seems to me that death is a bit harsh of a penalty for not signing up. You may as well just void the opt-out bit entirely. Surely you would rather they be annoying whiners about it than potentially dead.

Disclaimer: I'm 100% for letting people bear the natural consequences of their choices, even when that's death, and would never want to be forced to sign up for anything. The above simply represents some objections I feel a less libertarian individual might raise.

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