Showing posts from July, 2007

Organ donation: Presumed consent is a two-headed horse

Introduction There is a debate in progress surrounding the need to increase the organ supply, in particular for renal transplants. [1] , [2] There are currently 2 major fronts. One is the argument to increase the supply by allowing payment to donors for organs. Another is the argument for presumed consent recently raised by the Chief Medical Officer . Focusing on the latter argument it is possible to see that, in essence, it boils down to the choice between those who believe that the loss of something intangible but valuable in society is justified in light of the potential lives saved. The intangible social goods that are exchanged are: (1) the gift relation that currently exists between donor and recipient of a human organ and; (2) a power give to the state permitting it to harvest organs from those who have not declared their intentions in relation to personal donation. 2 positions within presumed consent The crux of presumed consent is that we are asked to accept the r

Animal loving means something else in Wales

Shambo's finally been taken. Sadly I note that the formal diagnosis of bovine TB is made at the post mortem . At the removal I noted a lack of animal rights activists. Perhaps they knew that the legal case turned not on animal rights but on the balance between the need to kill Shambo to protect public health and the right the monks had to respect for their religious views. At first instance Judge Gary Hickinbottom was unimpressed by the argument of the Welsh Ministers. But in the rematch the Court of Appeal [1] decided that even a large invasion of the monks right to respect for their religious views was justified on the facts. A contentious decision that deserved to go to further appeal. Yet the case did not make it to House of Lords let alone the European Court of Human Rights. A tragedy in itself. All this came about by the exercise of a discretionary power vested in the the Welsh legislature and exercised by or on behalf of Jane Davidson as the Minister for Sustainability