Recently a very controversial law has been passed here in The Netherlands. All citizens have automatically become donators of their organs. There has been so much fuss about this law and a lot of coverage in the press that I was not sure if I was actually going to write something about it myself.
It is such a strange thought, almost makes me squeamish. On the one hand I certainly can completely understand the principle that if you donate your organs you can prolong or even better the life of others. Certainly as a parent with a child desperately waiting for the donation of say a kidney, liver or heart, that you are so extremely grateful if one becomes available and your child can then live a normal life.
That I can get my head around rationally.
But the idea that someone might remove all my organs after death is strange. I think this is being honest. Even though I will personally know nothing about it, because my soul will have already left my body anyway, but it still feels strange. I wish I had an answer why.
Recently I asked my own children what they thought about this. My daughter who is nearly 30 said quite simply that she did not care what they did after her death. Yes, true, but the idea that a doctor would remove all the organs for donation and transplant from my child for another; it was still strange. My son was undecided.
I have been asking myself over the past few days, why do I feel this way? I know better of course that the person who donates will not know a thing, but how would I feel if I had to make the decision that the organs of my loved ones are donated to others? Would I and could I?
This new law is supposed to make it all clear and concise, but it doesn’t really as far as I am concerned. The new law automatically makes you a donor. If you don’t want to be one, you then have the choice to fill in a form and say no. But what about the people who forget or don’t make the effort to fill in the form? Who are suddenly confronted by the fact that they became a donor automatically?
As you can imagine the press have been having a hay-day with the entire subject. Ranging from people saying that the Government has no right whatsoever to say what you will or will not do with your own physical body. True! The supporters of course are enthusiastic, particularly the politician who will go down in history for making this legal, and others (and this makes me sad) who say, well I will not donate my organs to those people who are not donors too! What a dreadful way to think. That is going totally backwards let’s be honest.
So an interesting thought came up:
What are your thoughts on this matter?
What would you choose?
What would you choose for your children (under adult age)?
Are you a person with someone in your family who is actually waiting for a donor right now?
How do you feel?
I am still undecided. I realize that at my age I don’t really have a lot to offer myself now. Still I will have to make a decision whether it is yes or now. Still undecided. I find it a really difficult subject.
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