Organ harvesting and natural revulsion

2008-05-27

in Rants, Science

In a macabre tribute to utilitarian principles of welfare maximization, New York City is getting a special ambulance to collect, protect, and convey the organs of the suddenly deceased. The idea of being harvested for organs certainly makes people squeamish; most of us don’t like being reminded that we are basically delicate bags of goo. That being said, the opportunities to save lives here should trump our feelings of discomfort, just as they do in all manner of other uncomfortable medical procedures, from prostate examinations to pap smears.

Our feelings of revulsion are largely intuitive throwbacks to a world before we understood the nature of contagion and disease. Arguably, they are an increasingly useless (possibly even harmful) collection of caveman instincts.

Report a typo or inaccuracy

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Sarah May 28, 2008 at 1:17 am

This sounds very sensible. I hope they are getting organs from a diverse range of people, cos there’s a shortage of suitable organs for organs ethnic minorities in the UK, meaning they’re more likely to die whilst awaiting a transplant.

And while we’re on the subject, I shall remind people that they may want to carry an organ donor card and/or sign up to a registry, see http://www.organdonations.ca/ .

Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Previous post:

Next post: