Sunday, January 13, 2008

See if you can spot the conflict of interest

in this.
The Government will launch an overhaul of the system next week, which will put pressure on doctors and nurses to identify more "potential organ donors" from dying patients. Hospitals will be rated for the number of deceased patients they "convert" into donors and doctors will be expected to identify potential donors earlier and alert donor co-ordinators as patients approach death.

But Mr Brown, who carries a donor card, has made it clear he backs an even more radical revamp of the system, which would lead to donation by "presumed consent". The approach is modelled on that of Spain, which has the highest proportion of organ donors in the world.
Yeah, having the authorities assume you wanted to give up your body parts would tend to raise the number of 'donors'.

What, you thought you should have a say in what happens to your parts after you shuffle off this mortal coil? Oh no, silly peasant, WE know better than YOU what should be done.

It admits to a possible "conflict of interest" between medical staff, trying to save lives and those keen to ensure every possible organ is harvested. Dr Kevin Gunning, an intensive care consultant at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, and a member of the UK Transplant's advisory group, said the measures could put doctors and relatives under pressure. "If, as a doctor you have turned your thoughts to your patient being a donor when they are still living, that is a real conflict."
Damn, you think maybe?

Dr Bruce Taylor, of the Intensive Care Society warned that early indicators of death were not reliable. "The only way to be sure is to do all the tests which show brain stem death; anything in advance of that is only a prediction."

But Chris Rudge, of UK Transplant, the authority in charge of organ donation and transplant, insisted patients would not be considered as donors at any point where survival was possible.

Uh huh. Sure. I'm really going to trust that, aren't I?


Daniel Newby said...

Wow, that's even dumber than the adoption quotas Britain set for their child welfare agencies. Baby snatching is at least potentially reversible.

Anonymous said...

Larry Niven wrote a number of novels (eg A Gift From Earth) in which organ banks were a dominant feature of society, and minor transgressions carried the death penalty in order to keep them filled. He did most of his writing in the 1960s and 1970s

Firehand said...

Read some of them. Good books, scary idea. Which we seem to be approaching rapidly in some places.

emdfl said...

Heinlin's "Lazerous Long" stories pre-dated Niven's, I believe, but neither were very impressed with the basic idea IIRC.

Windy Wilson said...

All power resides in the state.
The fruits of your labor belong to the state for it to let you keep or redistribute to others as needed. Your body is not yours, nor is any property you may have owned at the time of your death.
Gee, that ought to simplify estate planning!