Two articles caught my eye over the past few days, both dealing with different aspects of organ transplants.
The first is from Quillette, and is titled "Bloody Harvest—How Everyone Ignored the Crime of the Century". It provides ghastly details of China's harvesting of organs from political prisoners and prisoners of conscience - apparently including current Uighur detainees.
In June of this year the China Tribunal delivered its Final Judgement and Summary Report. An independent committee composed of lawyers, human rights experts, and a transplant surgeon, the Tribunal was established to investigate forced organ harvesting on the Chinese mainland. These rumours have haunted the country for years—lurid tales of the fate suffered by members of the banned Falun Gong religion after being taken into police custody. Their organs, so the rumours go, are cut from their bodies while they are still alive, and then transplanted into waiting patients.
The Tribunal examined these claims, extending the group of victims to include Uyghur Muslims (among others), and its findings were unambiguous. “On the basis of all direct and indirect evidence, the Tribunal concludes with certainty that forced organ harvesting has happened in multiple places in the PRC [People’s Republic of China] and on multiple occasions for a period of at least twenty years and continues to this day.” Further to this, “the PRC and its leaders actively incited the persecution, the imprisonment, murder, torture, and the humiliation of Falun Gong practitioners with the sole purpose of eliminating the practice of, and belief in, the value of Falun Gong.” The Tribunal was also able to conclude, “with certainty,” that the Communist Party has been responsible for acts of torture inflicted on Uyghurs. These acts were found to constitute crimes against humanity.
There's more at the link.
It's possible the investigating tribunal may have been biased in motivation and/or conclusion, but given the evidence they advance, it's hard to believe there's no fire behind the smoke. Certainly, it's relatively easy to arrange one's transplant in advance in China, provided one has the money to pay for it. That can only mean that the transplanting hospital has a very large donor pool on which to draw, and can match your tissues with a donor at very short notice - quicker, in fact, than anywhere else in the world. Draw your own conclusions.
The second article is titled "Canada Touts How 'Assisted Suicide' Is Providing Human Spare Parts. So Hurry Up and Die, Already."
Canada decriminalized doctors killing terminal patients in 2016 ... Dying in the hospital, instead of surrounded by family at home, which originally was a key sales pitch for "death with dignity," is now giving way to "leaving a legacy" of spare body parts – with a surgeon only steps away. For convenience, you understand.
And the Canadian government has cleared away any legal jetsam that could get in the way of the dying person donating organs, such as pesky family member objections...
. . .
There may be people reading this right now thinking, "They want to kill themselves. Someone else needs an organ, what's the big deal?" Ethics, that's what. Valuing human life in the public sphere, that's what.
In the U.S. we were told that death with dignity was supreme. They smiled and lied. We just didn't know how fast the slide toward inhumanity would take.
Here we are.
Before long we'll be organ-shaming people. Public pressure will be put on people who may be terminal – but who selfishly want to live longer – to hurry up and kill themselves to provide spare parts for someone who has more value to society.
Again, more at the link.
I'd been a registered organ donor for decades, first in my birth country of South Africa, then after coming to the USA in the 1990's. However, I was aware of the growing pressure on doctors and hospitals to pronounce very sick or badly injured patients incapable of recovery, so that they could be "left to die in peace" and their organs then harvested for transplanting. This was brought home to me in 2009, when I had my first heart attack. I had no less than three visits from hospital staff while in the ER and ICU waiting for surgery. All urged me to consider organ donation as a way to help others, and offered me forms to sign - some conveniently already filled out with my personal details, "to make it quicker and easier for me". They justified their pressure on the grounds of "Just in case you haven't previously considered it" - but it felt uncomfortably like, "If you're a suitable donor, we won't try too hard to make sure you do make it if your case is marginal". They were using what I can only describe as high-pressure sales tactics, emotional appeals designed to make me feel selfish if I turned them down.
Guess what? When I left hospital, I withdrew my registration as an organ donor, and I've made sure I'm not on any current lists as such. Why take a chance on being turned into a "sudden involuntary donor" because of profit considerations? It wouldn't be my profit, either, or my surviving family's - it would all go to the hospital.
Food for thought, for transplant recipients and donors alike. It's a moral and ethical minefield out there . . .