A Shortage of Forensic Space, Organ Donations & Scientific Donations

    There is a severe shortage of organ and body donations around the world.  And Australia is no exception, for example at the start of 2012 several people died after eating poisonous mushrooms.  Every one of these people would have lived had liver transplants been available in time.  Four or so people all died due to there being no livers, in many ways a needless death.

    As such I personally believe that to be on the organ recipient list one should be an organ donor first.  I do not believe in an opt-out system rather than the current opt-in, rather just refuse people getting a transplant if they are against giving an organ.  The main objection to donations is a moral/religious one about dividing up the body is akin to dividing up the person.  I will not argue agains this, not because I disagree, but because it is such an individual personal point.  It is more than just ones beliefe, it is how they see and identify themselves and others.  So pointless or not it is an important reason to some.  However if we use this idea and just change the order in which we think about organ transplants we get a different answer.  We should ask if it is wrong to remove an organ form someone who died then why is it not just as wrong to receive an organ?  If taking an organ out is the same as taking a part of the person themselves out then this is no different with recipients.  For example the original faulty heart is removed and replaced with someone else's.  So why do we never ask if a part of the recipient is now removed in the same way as we ask this about the donnor?  Both had their hearts removed but only one (the donors) is kept 'alive'.  Logically people should not argue against removing organs, they should argue against receiving them.  But this is a little more clear as it would be arguing to let a person die unnecessarily.  If you are against donations then that is fine, but simply flip the order and argue against reception instead and see if the argument changes at all.  Simply put donations can save many people from a pointless death and we are seriously short of donations in Australia.  And if one is against the donation of an organ then they should not be eligible to receive an organ.  Otherwise it is hypocritical.

    People also argue against transplants as a way to stop the black market.  This is just a pointless argument that quite frankly makes no sense.  The fact that there is a black market in organs is evidence that we need to supply more and do more to mainstream the process.  If there were plenty of organs available then there would be no need or room for a black market.  Take cigarets for example, there is little to no black market for them anywhere they are freely available, even despite the high cost in Australia.  Yet they are traded illegally where they are less common.  From poorer nations to prisons, wherever they are scarse there is a black market for them.

    Everyone has an opinion on organ donation, but they often forget about donats to science and teaching.  This is actually a rather important area and issue, medical professionals learn with cadavers.

    There is a significant shortage of bodies donated to research.  Again, one should ask why should people be treated by doctors who learnt with cadavers yet refuse to become a cadaver?  A main objection many raise about being used in research after death is that it is "icky" or that 'bad things go on'.  People do not like the idea of it, viewing the process as cold, inhumane and pointless.  But it is essential to our medical understanding and due to a shortage Australia is starting to lag behind the rest of the world.  This is such an incorrect impression, they are not butchers who just hack up bodies.  Interestingly enough, an anatomy student once said that the vast majority of cadavers for research come from people who did the research.  Not just regular doctors, but specialists; anatomists, medical teachers.  Or from upper education in the medical field such as those who belong to the illuminati.  In other words those who did the research regularly, or had an involvement in it, are the supporters and providers of cadavers.  While the general public, the majority of the users of this research, are against the donations.

    Another area many never think about is where the bodies are kept.  Bodies used for research, court cases or other similar situations are called 'forensic cases' and stored in a separate system to 'regular' bodies.  From the paperwork to the actual fridge they are separate from other bodies until they are no longer considered forensic cases.  And just like with the donations there is a shortage of space for forensic cases.  It is actually quite a serious issue and they are always desperate for more space.  Especially since Westmead Hospital closed down their forensic storage capacity to save money.  There is less space for forensic storage and more demande for it.

    Overall there is a serious shortage of organs, bodies and space for medical or forensic purposes.  And while some have valid reasons not to donate we should all actually think about the issue.  But how about we change the questions a little.  For example do not ask would we donate an organ from ourselves, or our loved ones.  Instead ask would we accept an organ to save our live or the live of a loved one?  Or why it would be acceptable to take an organ but not give one.  Again, we should not falsely think about the bad conditions of becoming a cadaver but rather about the positive outcome.  About our medical staff being properly trained and experienced.

    All the above is an opinion piece to encourage thought and debate.  At the end of the day everyone has a right to their decision, but they should question and evaluate that decision regularly.  If some do not just disagree but are offended or upset by anything here then there is nothing wrong with that.  I do not actually mean to change minds or opinions.  The goal here is to question and think about our attitudes to the processes that go on after death.


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