Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

New York City to Help Potential Organ Donors

OrgansOne of the biggest hurdles in carrying out the intent of an organ donor is that the body deteriorates before doctors have the chance to remove organs.  As Robert Davis, Buying time for organ recovery, USA Today, May 7, 2008, explains:

New York City officials plan within months to dispatch the nation's first ambulance equipped to preserve bodies of the newly dead so that families have time to consider organ donation.

The controversial twist: Crews would swoop in and perform procedures on a corpse without consent in order to preserve the organs until the family had time to give consent for organ donation. No organs would be taken without consent. * * *

The proposal for the Rapid Organ Recovery Ambulance followed complaints from families who were told their loved one, who had wanted to be an organ donor, could not donate because the person died outside a hospital.


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New York City to Help Potential Organ Donors

...well, that's one way to look at it. Personally, I don't want a paramedic making decisions about whether I'm ready to be "harvested", or whether I might still be (selfishly?) using my organs.

I also have to wonder whether these preventative organ deterioration measures the paramedics in these special ambulances will be taking, won't make saving my life more difficult. Slate.com reports these would include, "injections of blood thinners and preservatives," to keep my organs ready-to-go. That can't be healthy, on the off-chance a doctor could actually save your life.

Posted by: Shane | Jun 8, 2008 3:40:42 PM

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