Organ transplants used to be a matter of saving lives: after a tragic death, the better bits of the deceased are given to someone in desperate need, whose life is saved. It was a good news story: sight for the blind, healing for the lame, snatching those away who are being led to death – and a small comfort for the family of the person who died, that by their death they brought some life. Careful surgical work, and miracle drugs to discourage rejection of the transplanted organ made it possible.
Things have changed.
There are new sources of organs:
- Middle Eastern human traffickers are butchering migrants to Europe for their organs – especially the inconvenient ones that failed to pay the full fare:
Egyptian organ traffickers bought ‘hundreds’ of men, women and children from people smugglers so they could kill them to be used in illegal transplants, it has been claimed.
Nuredin Atta Wehabrebi, the first senior people smuggler to break ranks to expose the cruel industry, told prosecutors in Sicily that migrants who couldn’t pay for the next part of their journey across the Mediterranean were sold to traffickers for $15,000. [daily mail]
- China is using the organs of prisoners to drive its booming transplant business – 60000 transplants per year! This would not be so bad, except that you can become a prisoner in China by simply minding your own business:
On June 22, 2016, former Canadian cabinet minister David Kilgour, human rights lawyer David Matas, and investigative journalist Ethan Gutmann published an update to their books Bloody Harvest and The Slaughter. The new findings reveal continued expansion of transplantations in China after organ harvesting first came to light in 2006, driving factors behind the industry’s growth, the role of Party and government agencies and individual officials in implementing and perpetuating the systematic killing of prisoners of conscience for their organs. [stop organ harvesting]
- Clinics run by Planned Parenthood are harvesting organs of aborted children. There are not many uses for baby organs and tissue beyond pseudo scientific fraud-for-grants. Adult stem cell treatments are superior, and actually work, but these crazed fools are going to keep at it until they find some way of using the valuable goods they are harvesting from a sea of children’s blood.
- Who knows what is happening in Africa, where governments are paying little attention to the wellbeing of their people?
What does this mean for regular organ transplants?
Anonymous donors – Critically, the original wisdom of organ transplants was that the identity of the donor should not be known to the recipient. This arrangement made it unlikely that there would be perverse arrangements between the recipient and the donor. Ironically, this was very suitable arrangement for the South Africa of 1967, where Chris Barnard did the first heart transplant. After generations of fighting the unwashed natives, many white people would have been horrified at the prospect of receiving a life-saving organ from an unwashed black or coloured or Indian – those people are not like us, tissue matching be damned!
Because donors are anonymous, it is completely possible to insert additional organs into the system. No questions will ever be asked. It is not necessary to know that you are dealing with the liver of the late Mr Dhlamini, once of Ivory Park, who died on his way to work in a taxi smash, survived by his common law wife and 3 children: all you care about is matching. You can just as gladly supply the liver of the late Farouk Ali, once of Damascus, who died on his way to Europe in a chain-saw and cooler bag accident with organ traffickers, together with his wife and 3 children. This can be done by a single doctor without any corruption of administrators. When someone sets up an international organ exchange system, then the switch can be done by anyone in any country. Need a type O kidney? Well, go out and harvest, and create a glut of type O kidneys on the market, and your man will get the organ he has paid you to provide.
But, you may happen to know, they have very strict protocols in place. Well, that’s wonderful. However, these protocols must be enforced by normal people, working under normal pressures – work and financial. The story of corruption is that the protocols remain on paper, but go out the window in practice, and a special arrangement is made to accommodate the thing that brings in the money.
If the administrators are corrupted, then inserting an organ into the system from commercial grade murder for hire is easy, and routing it to your paying recipient is easy too. Can we blindly trust hospital administrators employed by companies that operate for profit? Can we blindly trust hospital administrators employed by governments that daily demonstrate that they have no grasp of morality? Choosing to trust them blindly is an immoral choice.
The solution. All transplants of human tissue, cells, organs and derived products (yes, blood too) must bear the name of the donor in such a way that the recipient can verify in person that the donation was voluntary, should he choose to do so. Yes, this raises the possibility that people may donate family members’ organs in the hope of financial gain. However, it will do something very important: the random checks by the random few that do follow up the identity of the donor will inject honesty and transparency into the system.
The organ transplant business is not going to change overnight. Until they do change, and donors become known to recipients, there is a slowly growing risk that when you undergo a transplant operation, you will benefit from someone’s deliberate murder, and that you will pay the murderers for their evil work. There is a slowly growing risk that when you donate your organs, you are helping to create the sea of anonymity and the sheen of respectability that covers over a trade that is corrupting overnight.
If your organs are going off into the system, anonymously and unverifiably when you die, then know that the anonymity of the system is open to abuse. You may be helping people today, but tomorrow, the anonymity of this same help will be complicity in murder.
I want my organs to bear a note to the recipient that says, “Freely given by (name) once of (place) upon his death on (date)”.
Actually, I want to stir: “Freely given by (name), a Christian, once of (place) upon his death on (date)”.
(and ban transplant tourism to China!)