The Right to Leave the Transplant List
By David Holcberg (Washington Post, October 16, 2005)
Cindy Speas's advice to people in need of organ transplants is that it is best to stay within the system [letters, Oct. 11].
Best for whom?
Not for those who want to take charge of their lives and obtain a lifesaving organ for themselves. To "stay within the system" means to wait in a government-regulated line in which 6,000 people die every year while waiting for organs.
To "stay within the system" means waiting passively until all those in "greater medical need" have had their organ transplants.
But what if you don't want to wait?
If you need a lifesaving transplant, you have the moral right--and should have the legal right--to obtain one by the only means appropriate to a free society: the voluntary decisions of the parties involved (i.e., donors and recipients).
The fact that others may need an organ more urgently should not prevent you from trying to obtain an organ for yourself--and should not be an excuse for government to limit your freedom to do so.