Monday, October 09, 2006

Urgent Need For Organs

Deborah Starr Seibel wrote an article ( linked via title bar ) that showed up in the Parade section of my Houston Chronicle, “Katherine Heigl of Grey’s Anatomy says... ‘‘I Needed To Make Sense of His Death’’”. At the end of the piece was a list showing how and why it was important to become an organ donor.

I think it’s wonderful that human organs can be useful “the second time around”. I can remember, and this wasn’t all that many years ago, the excitement generated by medical teams transplanting kidneys and the morality arguments that sprang up as it became possible to actually take a human heart and transplant that particular organ. The field of medicine had opened a Pandora’s Box which could never be closed; the technology was put to use and many folk’s lives have been extended and their quality of life improved as a result of such pioneering medical improvisation.

In the back of my mind lies a dark side, one that questions motives that on the surface may seem pure. It occurred to me that those in charge of deciding the fate of future donors, those who’d been involved in terrible automobile accidents, victims of violent crimes and similar trauma related issues had better be people with impeccable character, integrity above reproach or the opportunity to pervert the system could lead to untold corruption.

A few years ago I wrote a fictional short story and called it, “The Organ Donor Program” ( link provided below ). Each year I’m reminded of my deep suspicions when I come across articles such as were published in today’s Sunday paper. Do you trust these medical folks, the same ones who depend on or have to get permission to perform procedures from a finance director at the home office of the HMO? Who is it that really gets to decide who lives, who dies and who has a healthy kidney to donate?

No comments: