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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

It's about time!

Yesterday the Knesset finally approved a long-overdue organ donation law.  The expected result of the new initiative is an increase in available of organs for transplantation and a decrease in Israelis seeking transplants abroad on the black market.

In addition, since the new law will establish a steering committee that is responsible for training and approving doctors qualified to declare brain death, it is expected that many Israelis who were previously hesitant will now be more willing to sign organ donor cards.  This is because a doctor's potential eagerness to harvest viable organs will now be checked by an iron-clad, even cumbersome, dual approval procedure for determining that a patient is truly dead by the strictest medical and halachic (Jewish law) criteria before they pull the plug.

However, I have to admit that stories like this don't exactly serve to calm people's fears. 

For the record, if (G-d forbid) I seem to have checked out with no forwarding address, and you are preparing to harvest my organs, please stick me with something sharp other than a scalpel... like, say, a pocket knife under my fingernails or on the sole of my foot... before carving the turkey. 

I'm just sayin'...

Posted by David Bogner on March 25, 2008 | Permalink


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Also for the record, even if one doesn't believe that brain death is actual halachic death (or one is concerned, due to stories like the one you linked to, that brain death is too delicate to be accurately determined), one can still potentially donate one's liver and kidneys (which is what most organ recipients need).

See http://www.hods.org/ for more information.

Posted by: Reuven | Mar 25, 2008 11:04:32 AM

Don't worry, Trep,

If you're ever in this position, we'll be sure to ask you a series of very easy questions. If you get any of them right, then we'll stop harvesting your organs. Simple enough, right?

Posted by: dfb1968 | Mar 25, 2008 1:16:26 PM

So how are organ donor card signed here? Is there a space for it on your license, like in the "alte heim"?

Posted by: Baila | Mar 25, 2008 5:22:56 PM

That story is about as calming as the Keep Your Hands off of My Anus one over here.

Posted by: Jack | Mar 25, 2008 5:25:00 PM

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