Critical Reading- Joseph Passalacqua

Anthony Ozimic

00:05/00:16 “It may be that without the donation of an organ, people will die, but it’s the nature of organ donation, that it’s a gift- it’s not a duty.”

-This claim is quick to grab the readers attention, as it is a very strong claim that some would argue and see as controversial.

It’s actually several claims, Joe. Which one do you think is the most controversial?

-Presumed consent is clearly going to save more lives than if every organ donation was a “gift” to someone.

Some (me maybe) would argue that organs recovered through presumed consent are gifts too . . . the donor had the opportunity to withhold those gifts and chose not to.

If you are saying you would prefer your organs only be given as a gift than you are practically saying that you would prefer other people die and you can only donate your organs to the ones you want to live.

Your language is unclear, Joe. Are you arguing with Anthony about Anthony’s organs? Try this: <blockquote>When Ozimic says his organs are his to give, not others’ to take, he’s saying he is willing to let others die to preserve his right to donate his organs only as he pleases.</blockquote>

00:33/00:55 “We’ve seen over a number of years, a move towards euthanasia, removing food and fluids and reasonable medical treatment. So, it is not unreasonable to be worried that the end of people’s lives are being hastened, and that one of the motivations for that will be organ removal.”

-I am reading this as Mr. Ozimic saying that doctors are killing people in hospitals, without their consent, to take their organs for someone else to have.

Then you’re concluding too much. Euthanasia doesn’t begin to imply “without their consent.” Mr. Ozimic may fear it, but he doesn’t claim it.

Simply the idea of that happening is completely irrelevant & highly unlikely.

Now you may be concluding too little. Doctors certainly respond positively to the availability of organs, since they help save the lives of other patients. Ozimic only posits a “reasonable fear” that well-meaning doctors at best have conflicts of interest.

Doctors take an oath to never harm and always care for the health and life of their patients. Killing one patient to save another is breaking that oath.

True, but allowing nature to take her course with the consent of the dying patient is at least qualitatively different from killing.

-Euthanizing people is always done with some form of consent.  Whether it be from the patient themselves, or of family members speaking on their behalf in times of need.  No one is ever killed just for the sake of taking their organs without consent.

I’m glad you said so. This is of course the crux of the matter. Anthony may be worried that once he signs his consent to donate his organs, his doctors won’t work as hard to save him (different from killing him, except to Anthony) because of their conflicting interests.

00:57/01:10 “I feel so strongly about this issue that I carry a card which says that I refuse consent for organ removal. And that’s because I believe it’s too risky to be an organ donor in the current climate.”

-With what Mr. Ozimic is saying, it seems he is saying that organ donation will be mandatory with no way to op-out in the future.

I don’t think you can conclude that at all.

I fail to see a future where this is true and when we have to carry around little notes on index cards as our only form of opting out.

Well, actually, if presumed consent becomes the law of the land, you would very much want to carry around a card saying you deny consent if that is your wish.

-Medical procedures are becoming less-invasive day after day and are for the most part safe.  Along with that, I fail to see how safety would be an issue for a dead body.  If it was, I’m sure a good amount of the dead donors would still be alive.

I think the clear meaning of “risky to be an organ donor” is that Anthony fears identifying himself as a willing supplier of something doctors might be too eager to get their hands on.

01:11/01:27 “Our bodies are temples of the holy spirit, and so it’s simply not for the state, or the medical profession or anyone else to dispose of bodies or their organs as if the body was simply a used car used for spare parts.”

-Our bodies are not temples.  We are bodies.

Maybe yours is. Mine is a consecrated tabernacle. Just kidding. I’m animated dirt.

-If we have parts of us that, upon our death, can save someone else’s life, then yes we should be treated like used cars.  If my ignition doesn’t work, but everything else runs fine, then feel free to give my transmission, fuel pump and any other parts you want to someone who needs it.  I won’t mind.

Can I have that fuel pump now? 🙂

01:40/01:48 “We need to be promoting ethical areas of medical science. Not now giving rights to the state over our bodies after death.”

-I see nothing ethical in telling someone they are going to die because the 98-year-old who was incredibly healthy and only died of a broken hip decided that his body was too special and he didn’t want someone else to live because of his death.

someone is singular; they is plural

Be very careful with because phrases, Joe, especially paired with negatives. They’re notoriously squirmy. You must mean something like: he didn’t want someone else to benefit from his death. What you actually say is not at all clear. It might easily mean: because of his death, he didn’t want someone else to live.

– I also fail to see how it is ethical to deny  someone a transplant because of other research, Nothing ever says that organ donation is the only way to save someone who needs a transplant. Stem cell research, which Mr. Ozimic even mentioned, is coming very far along and organ donation may soon be eliminated once they have successfully developed a way to grow fully functional organs for patients to use.

Of course you’re entirely right that the eventual availability of other remedies is no excuse to deny today’s patients today’s remedies. (Still, Ozimic has a point: the effort we devote to today’s lousy remedies—say, fracking natural gas—can divert our resources from pursuing tomorrow’s truly transformative remedies, like solar and geothermal energy.) He’s still flat wrong, but I grant him his point.

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