Friday, 3 April 2009

Give Life

Was really frustrated to find this website-

Ok so some people don't want to transplant their organs but setting up a site to actively discourage it? I find that disgusting considering the thousands of people that die each year waiting for organs.

I can understand why some people don't like the idea of it, I have seen it from the other side and it's certainly not an easy decision to make. But if you take the time to look at the effects of it and the people who wouldn't be here today without organ donation I really think people would put aside those feelings and donate.

One of the stories I have recently been aware of is an 11 month old little boy waiting for a liver and bowel transplant. He has lived in hospital all his life but luckily he received his transplant this week. There is still the recovery process to go but if that goes smoothly, he will finally get to go home and live his life. I think when people think about organ donation they don't imagine children waiting on the list, perhaps it's time to change this perception.

Donate Wales seems to be working on this idea
I wasn't sure about this advert when I first saw it but I was quite choked up at the end. I like the fact it reminds people there are children waiting too and also what the waiting process is about.

I think people don't realise that most people waiting are bound by dialysis or oxygen, hospital visits, various health problems and symptons which generally get progressively worse during the wait. Also people don't go on waiting forever and so many die waiting.

Please consider signing the organ donor register-

Thanks for reading =)



PS- Just watched 'Supernanny' which featured the most horrendous child I have ever seen who constantly screamed at and hit her parents. Must admit, for the first time ever I thought "I would be tempted to hit her back!"
(please note- star does not actually condone child abuse)
I know it's generally due to a lack of discipline by the parents (one incident was in the car, I would have pulled over and told her to get out!) but I really was horrified a child can be so nasty, where did she learn that behaviour from? Worrying.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Deborah, 13, Servant of God

I am in shock after watching this. Worth a watch though disturbing at points this is a documentary about a very extreme teenage Christian.

I was torn during watching. At points I wanted to give her a little shake and tell her there is evidence for the Big Bang and question some of the assumptions she has made. At other points I wanted to give her a hug because she is very little to be preaching so much and looked a bit bewildered for much of the programme.

I really didn't agree with the family life. Not that I'm criticising home in the country with a big family and siblings you are close to, I think there were some nice points about their life. But the parents have clearly kept them away from society so they can't question what they've been brainwashed in to believing.

These kids don't have any friends, are homeschooled and listen to bible tapes as they fall asleep, what kind of childhood is that?

Even her brother looked sad when he talked about her preaching to people about hell and the fact she doesn't have any friends. I was also slightly amused that her 'going out into the real world' was Buxton, I have been to Buxton and it's a lovely place but it's hardly party central.

I was starting to experience being a teenager her age and yes there are problems and bad points to teenage life but I don't see that as a reason to try and shield your children from the real world. I made mistakes and had good and bad experiences during my teenage years but I wouldn't trade it for being brainwashed and kept away from the world.

Most importantly, aside from me disagreeing with their beliefs or principles, the question I would have to ask her and her parents is, is she really happy?

She looked miserable for most of the documentary, a very nervous little child who calls herself wretched and criticises herself for any tiny sin she may have committed. If she was smiling and carefree I would believe that right or wrong her life was working for her but she looked miserable and even cried at the end.

I felt irritated, creeped out and uncomfortable for parts of the documentary but mostly I felt sorry for her in the end because not only has she been taught religion as truth rather than an idea but she's been kept away to ensure she really has no choice in the matter. And when she does go out into the world she will no doubt alienate people by telling them they are going to hell and so remain lonely and convinced in everything she has been told growing up and I find that very sad.


Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Saving Lives

So I know I've already posted today but I've just seen another story that has captured my interest

According to this survey, the main reasons for people not donating organs are
> Concerns about how hard doctors will work to save the patient if they are an organ donor
> Concerns about how the body will be treated during organ removal

I am really saddened by the fact this is stopping people from signing up. I think this shows there is still so much work to do on educating people about organ donation.

The first one I find hard to comprehend since it shows such a lack of faith in the medical profession. I don't understand the cold view of Doctors, they are in a caring profession and they want to do their best for the patient.

Also it shows many people don't understand the system, the team that treats a possible organ donor have nothing to do with the person waiting for transplant or the organ donation team. Their responsibility is their patient alone. On a human level, I'm sure Doctors want what is best for their patient and want to save their life. Even on a cold, professional level Doctors get ratings on their patient care and so the last thing they want is patients dying. Bottom line is Doctors do everything possible to save the patient and organ donation is a last resort.

The reason I understand more is not wanting to think about death. It's hard to think about dying and even harder to talk to your family about it. But the fact is, families on the other side don't have a choice, people waiting for organs have to think about their own death and talk to their family about it, you doing it might just mean they don't have to die waiting.

So please don't let these concerns stop you signing up and saving lives.


Dawkins vs The Banana man

Apparently the guy in this video (please watch, it's hilairious) has offered Richard Dawkins $10,000 to have a debate

Dawkins replied saying he'll do it for $100,000, to be donated to the Richard Dawkins Fund and if he can film it to be made into a DVD if it's funny enough.

Personally I would love to see Dawkins take down the Bananman, but I think this person has already destroyed his theory-

I know people have very mixed opinions on Dawkins, even some atheists think he expresses things in the wrong way. Personally, I like him. I think he's very intelligent and well spoken. As for criticisms of him as a 'militant atheist' I think there's some truth in that but I think that's what Atheism needs. Christianity has been preaching and getting publicity for centuries and I think it's about time an atheist spoke up and got attention.

I'm hoping the Bananman gives him the $100,000 and even more so, I'm hoping Richard brings along a wild banana and pauses the debate to offer him some, I would love to see the response.


Saturday, 21 February 2009

These foreigners coming over here, taking our organs...

So most of my posts so far have been about religion but that's not the only issue taking my interest. I am a keen supporter of organ donation and try to raise awareness.

The title is tongue in cheek, referring to the Daily Mails coverage of the discussion about foreigners receiving British donor organs. This issue was first raised in January but the fact they have published another story prompted me to comment. Here are the articles concerned-

I was shocked the first time round by the callous attitudes towards this issue when it was first covered and was horrified again, particularly by people's comments on the article. Why does someone from another country have any less right to life than a British citizen? I don't see this need to create barriers between "us" and "those evil foreigners" as seems to be the Daily Mail and other newspapers attitudes. These foreigners are people, jsut like us, they have parents and children and siblings desperate for their recovery and will die without these organs, why does someone from our country deserve it more just for having lived in the same country as their donor?

What really disgusted me was the halfwits who replied with comments like "I've ripped up my donor card". Why? So thousands more people, both British and foreign can die whilst waiting? How heroic of you. I felt so frustrated at the stupidity of people, reading these comments. What this article should be highlighting is the chronic shortage of donors. If everyone signed up there wouldn't be these squabbles over who deserves the organ more.

Two years ago there was a publicity stunt of a fake gameshow where people would compete for an organ. The idea was to raise awareness about the the shortage of organs but most people just thought the gameshow was sick and didn't apprecitate the message. What I find odd is that people were horrified by the gameshow idea but they still feel justified to judge who should and shouldn't get organs. The point of the gameshow was to say no one can decide that so we need more donors to ake away that problem.

The new Daily Mail article takes an odd stance by starting with the case study of a greek woman who received a transplant. The article seems less judgemental than many in the Daily Mail which often appears to be entirely against organ donation, particularly in Melanie Phillips collumn.

I think people need to stop with the knee jerk reaction outrage and think this through. These people will die without the organs needed and I think they are just as entitled as British citizens. Also I didn't sign the register with clauses of what kind of person I want to have my organs, I want to give them to whoever needs them.


PS- For thought provoking watching, I recommend the film Seven Pounds, a very intense but worthwhile watch with brilliant performances from Will Smith and Rosario Dawson. I am hoping the film will get more people thinking about signing the register-

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

There's probably no God, so stop worrying and enjoy your life

You may recognise my title as the slogan of The Atheist Bus

This new project has got everyone buzzing and talking about atheism, whether criticising or praising the campaign, what do you think?

Personally I'm fully in favour of the campaign, I think it sends out a good, positive message about atheism. I object to the fact atheists are stereotyped as "without faith" or negative or as taking the beauty out of life. I don't see where this idea came from, I think it's positive to believe there's no greater force in the world. I see the fact I don't believe in heaven as a positive too, I think it means this is the only life you get so make the most of it.

I remember an RS teacher of mine putting up the chemical formula for a rainbow and saying it took the beauty out of it. I disagree, surely it makes it more wonderful that we can explain the complex process that makes something so beautiful.

This is better summed up by one of my favourite quotes-
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe there are fairies at the bottom of it too?"
Douglas Adams

This campaign has obviously outraged many Christians. However their response might have been more effective had it not been so divided. First, Christian Voice attempted to report the bus to the advertising standards agency, as false advertising.

In complete contrast to this, another Christian group is making retaliating posters with the slogan "There definetly is a God".

Firstly this is a ridiculous slogan. Someone I spoke to criticised the Atheist Bus for "sitting on the fence" by using the word 'probably'. I think this was a smart move personally, it shows an open mindedness and that Atheist's can admit there's no guarantee. The retaliation slogan only serves to highlight the arrogance of the campaign.

Also, with Christian Voice claiming false advertising and The Christian party retaliating, what exactly are they asking for? For Atheists not to be able to express their views but for Christians to have freedom of speech? These adverts were a response to a Christian campaign in the first place plus they make a refreshing change from all the religious publicity out there.
Anyway, what happened to turning the other cheek? ;)

I feel it's about time Athiests had a say and a chance to advertise, I think Atheism still needs to be brought out of the closet, so to speak. I once heard that more politicians have admitted to being gay than to being an Atheist. Whilst our society is becoming more tolerant and understanding in some ways, there is still so much prejudice against atheism and I think it's time that changed.

Hopefully the fact the Atheist Bus justgiving page has raised £151,446.66 so far is a sign of a changing society.

Friday, 6 February 2009

"Persecuted for Praying"

This is an issue that really got me thinking when I saw it in the paper

Caroline Petrie is facing the sack due to the fact she offered to pray for a patient and in doing so, broke the equality and diversity act, is this fair?

Firstly the title of my post is in quote marks for a reason, because I don't agree with this headline. She isn't in trouble because she was praying, she is in trouble because she was pushing her religious views on people in the workplace.

If a religious nurse wants to pray for a patient, that is their right but why is there this need with religious people to push their beliefs on others?

I have experienced having an extremely ill relative in the family and during this time a girl from my school, lets call her Ms X, kept informing a mutual friend of ours that she was praying for my relative. I found this more an irritation than a comfort, Ms X was perfectly aware that I am not religious and in fact we had always been acqquaintances rather than friends because of this. If she felt praying helped, fine but why inform me? When I ranted about this in front of some friends I suddenly realised one of them was quite religious herself and felt embarrassed. However, she agreed with me, saying that she sometimes prayed for my relative but that she didn't feel the need to tell me because it didn't mean anything to me.

In addition to this, Ms Petrie had already been disciplined for this when she gave a prayer card to a patient so she cannot claim she didn't know the rules and that she was breaking them.

I also wonder whether the Daily Mail would have had the same response if the story regarded a Muslim or a Wiccan or some less accepted and understood religion within our society? I can't help but think they would have been raising an outcry about patients having these beliefs forced on them. I don't see why Christianity should get a free pass if other religions would not be given the same treatment.

I think the comment about Christians being the most discriminated against group is ridiculous. Christianity affects the laws of this country, is deeply routed in the school system and the fact people like Ms Petrie think it acceptable to push their beliefs on others is evidently proof of how Christianity is given far more tolerance than any other religion in this country.

Melanie Phillips tried to get in on the over dramatisation of this story but made the mistake of including a poll in her article "Would you object to a nurse offering to pray for you"

Evidently she was not expecting 68% to have said yes! Your readers have spoken Melanie, people don't want religion being pushed on them and the Equality an Diversity act stops that happening.

What do you think? I love a good debate