Friday, February 08, 2008

Class-based organ donation?

The idea behind LifeSharers is that putting organ donors first on the transplant waiting list will increase the number of organ donors and save more lives.

In a story on WSBT TV in South Bend, Sam Davis of the Indiana Organ Procurement Organization compares putting organ donors first to excluding people by class.

This comparison is offensive. Also, putting organ donors first is legal, while (as Mr. Davis correctly points out) excluding people by class is illegal: "For example, I can't say, ‘Don't give that organ to a Jew, don't give it to a black, don't give it to a Muslim, don't give it to a minority, don't give it to anybody from Kentucky,’" Davis said.

The Wall Street Journal's "Best of the Web Today" (see the item titled "One of These Things Is Not Like The Others") adds their take: "the idea that favoring fellow organ donors is the equivalent of disfavoring blacks or Jews is twisted. The former approach seeks to give people an incentive to do something good; the latter punishes people for what they are. Davis might as well argue that a cop has no more business pulling someone over for driving while drunk than for driving while black."

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