Organ Wagon Coming Your Way? It's No Hurdy Gurdy Man!

December 9, 2010 09:00 AM

One of the most remarkable public relations features of the culture of death is the innovative manner in which they attempt to sell the public on their “compassion.”  An example is the current experiment within the New York City Fire Department where Organ Preservation Units will accompany fire trucks to emergency calls where it is possible that the victim might not survive. Each “wagon” will be staffed with medical professionals prepared to take the donor organ or use measures that will ensure the freshness of the organ should the victim die.

Fox Television's New York affiliate reports that not only are the wagons going to show up at the homes of those dying or in need of immediate medical help, but they will also be arriving at the scenes of accidents. This is more than a little disturbing. 

Additionally, the organ wagon pilot program is being paid for through a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). In other words, you and I are paying for this grotesque adventure into the harvesting of organs that will be fresh enough for transplant purposes.

When people like pro-death Jack Kevorkian make it known that even those who are using assisted suicide to end their lives should be organ donors you can be assured that something is amiss. The collection of organs from those deemed to be “dead” should never occur under suspicious circumstances, and yet such appears to be the case.

New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg has said that, “The unfortunate truth is that 8,000 New Yorkers are currently on the wait list for a donation, and there are barriers that make saving their lives not as simple as it could be. This new pilot program will help us test a process that could transform the way we donate organs and help save many lives.” 
A 2006 report on organ donation states that the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) “goal should be to move toward a society where people see organ donation as a social responsibility” and where “donating organs would be accepted as a normal part of dying, and in cases where a person died without recording a specific choice about donating his or her organs, the surviving family members would be comfortable giving permission.” 

The real question is not whether or not someone might live longer with another person’s organ, but where a line must be drawn when focusing on respect for the dignity of the human being who is dying and the human being who is waiting for an organ. Should compassion be defined as a willingness to hurry one victim out of his life so that someone else can perhaps benefit from an organ hastily retrieved from that victim? 
Such questions are provocative, even among Catholic medical professionals and moralists. As Catholic physician John Shea wrote in 2007 concerning the tactics and strategy for making organ donation appear to be appealing, “Organ donation can be a moral good if the means used to obtain the organs is itself morally good. … The critical question is whether a person is truly dead when declared ‘brain dead’ or to have suffered ‘cardiac death.’” 
A short three years after Shea’s challenging perspective, there is additional cause to be dubious about the retrieval of organs. Organ wagons could become vehicles where summary judgments are made based on elastic criteria for determining the death of the individual whose organs are being sought. This is poised to have a lot of scary results. 

The hurdy gurdy man brought joy with his organ wagon; not so much with New York City’s version of the organ wagon. 
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