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-

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