New Democrat Peter Kormos plans to introduce a private member's bill Thursday. If it is passed by the legislature the law would establish so-called presumed consent rules, making donations automatic unless a patient has already declined permission.
Kormos said the idea is to close the gulf between the relatively tiny number of organs that become available in Ontario each year and the 4,000 people across Canada who are waiting for a life-saving transplant.
We wouldn't think of throwing out an appliance that we were upgrading in our house … We would take either to Good Will or The Salvation Army," Kormos said Thursday. "Why are we burying or burning good organs every day?"
Kormos noted that thousands of people died every year while on waiting lists for organ transplants.
The bill is being reintroduced after it died on the order paper last year. If passed, it would effectively reverse the current system that requires donors to sign an organ donor card and have it with them in order to allow doctors to harvest their organs.
This really tears at me. I don't want to see people dying and suffering needlessly waiting for an organ transplant that never comes. I also don't like the idea of the state deciding it has first call on your dead body.
It seems to be all of a piece with the push for legalized euthanasia, which has already become effectively mandatory in the Netherlands in many cases, especially as a means to save the health care system money.
Will the state take the same approach with people who decline to have their organs harvested, refusing certain treatments in reprisal? The temptation will surely also arise to let some people die just to harvest the organs.
For that matter, why stop at mandatory organ harvesting? There are many other uses for other materials from dead bodies. Surely it is no less selfish to bury or cremate useful bone and fat.
As the notion of the sanctity of the human body diminishes further in our culture, expect the arguments to be made in favour of full out corpse recycling instead of wasting them in cemeteries.