Since it’s Media Monday I was going to lambaste Rupert Murdoch for not really knowing what is going on at his Fox channel, and of course the quasi news channel itself…yet again. Today I’m just too tired calling them out on their crappy lies. I’ll save it for a day when I have more energy and it’s sunny. So today I want to write about organ donors in the UK and a problem that has arisen. Sounds exciting doesn’t it? Are you a donor? I am. I’m not sure if, when the time comes, any organ of mind will be usable except for cartoon purposes. If you want, you can get in line now.
In the morning, after my quiet prayer-time, I read the BBC news along with the Guardian in the morning to clear my head before I dive into my day. I do this because I find these sources a little less hysterical than what passes for media news here. Since I may be living in the UK soon enough, I also think I should get used to it. Anyway, a story caught my eye this morning about a mix-up at the National Health Service, you know that diabolical socialist entity that covers everyone’s health care in England Scotland and Wales. It was a story about the wishes of organ donors. It seems that the NHS authority confirmed 21 cases in which the wrong organs may have been taken from donors. (I hope it wasn’t like the Monty Python sketch which had a guy coming to the house of a living person asking for his liver.) As many as 800,000 people on the UK donor register may have had their preferences about which organs they wished to donate recorded incorrectly. Holy crap! Then I thought…and…your point?
The story goes on to relate that while many of the 17 million registered donors give consent for all their organs to be used for transplant after their death, some have withheld consent for certain organs – such as their eyes. O……..K.
Stephen Banks, from Worcestershire, wrote to the BBC:
“I renewed my driving licence in March this year and ticked the options to donate all my organs apart from eyes.
“I decided I was happy to donate my liver, lungs, pancreas and kidneys.
“But a few days later, on 17 February, I received a letter from the NHS thanking me for donating and telling me I had also donated my eyes.
“I feel a bit embarrassed to call up and say, ‘I want my eyes back.'”
It is against the law to take organs from the dead without their prior consent, or that of their family after death. I know this story will become a big deal for some but I figure if the organs are still usable and the wavier for donorship has been signed, use them. When I took out my drivers license and signed the donor card, I assumed it would be for all the usable organs I have. Isn’t that the way you think? So in England I guess one has to be more specific. By the way what does one need their eyes for in the next spiritual plane of existence? Maybe I am being crass here, but I have never been to an open casket funeral where the eyes were open. That would be way too freaky. If that is a problem for some, then I guess that is why God invented dark glasses. I remember once a long time ago I went to a funeral of a monk. There was an open casket and right on the bridge of his nose was a pair of glasses. Maybe I am a descendant of the Addams family, but at the time, I thought that was the funniest thing I have ever seen and started to chuckle a little too loudly I guess. The monks in the monastery glared at me from under their hoods with looks that could have stopped a freight train. Then I remembered that the open casket was for the family and friends and not for the dead guy. I also remember the funeral of my uncle and at the wake all my aunt could say was “Doesn’t he look natural?” Not having seen him in his “natural” state only his living state I couldn’t make the comparison. To me he looked dead.
I know I need to be more sensitive about the living, but considering such advanced technology in medical science that allows hearts transplanted from one person to another, and transplanted livers to be viable for someone who has liver disease and transplanted lungs can give people a new lease on a normal life…what’s the beef? Donating organs is a great way to keep the dead friend, father, mother, neighbor alive in another person. It’s as if their spirit is still around for a little longer. What a gift.
So take everything that works and use the rest of me for medical research and teaching or even a piñata. Oh and I want my eyes to help someone see a little bit longer.
And so it goes…