Compulsory organ donation poses threat

Cami Klein - Staff Writer, Photo courtesy of Google Images

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One of the most fundamental basic human rights is the right to control one’s own body, both in life and death. Countries across the Atlantic have begun to adopt laws that make organ donation compulsory in the event of a fatal accident; this would mandate the donation of organs of every citizen who passes away, unless said citizen initially chooses to opt out of the donation process. While there are many positive results of organ donation, such as saving lives and providing comfort for the donor’s family in knowing their loved one’s spirit lives on, this does not mean that the government has the right to dictate whether or not a person must be pressured to serve as a donor. The U.S. should not institute a law of compulsory organ donation because such a law would violate human rights and the law would be incompatible with some religious views.

One of the most basic rights American citizens have is the freedom of choice. No matter the reason one wishes to not participate as an organ donor, he or she reserves the right as an American to control what is done to his or her body. Waiving the rights to one’s body removes that person’s authority over his or her own choices. Much like how the government cannot deny abortion in the first trimester because women have the right of choice, the government should not be able to claim rights to a corpse and harvest organs if that person would not have consented to this donation when he or she was living. If a citizen refuses to participate in organ donation due to beliefs, ultimately the decision of what is done to his or her body needs to be up to that person.

Americans may also not wish to become organ donors because organ donation may violate some religious beliefs. Some religions state that mutilation of the body through transplant can hurt a person’s soul, and that instilling a piece of another person in one’s body conflicts with the path of life God had intended. If people are unaware of their automatic registry as an organ donor, they may be forced to donate against the wishes of their religion because they do not know to opt out prior to death.

“The government should not make organ donation compulsory because our body is our own and we should have the right to do with it as we please,” said sophomore Jordan Strasser. If the government takes away our right to the one thing that is truly our own, that is the ultimate destruction of liberty.”

Governmental mandating of organ donation directly violates one’s right to freedom of choice over one’s body. Additionally, forcing a person to violate his or her own religious motivations and beliefs in order to follow the law is unethical and offensive; since death leading to organ donation may be unexpected, these types of accidents may happen before the person has the opportunity or chance to opt out. Manipulation from the government over rights to one’s body should not be tolerated, and the right of organ donation should ultimately be left up to each American individually.

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