Did this one just go by everyone? Organ harvesting bill blows through State Senate

I was minding my own affairs when I caught the Mercer article in the Aberdeen American News (Please go on-line Bob... We bloggers need you there!) titled "Body-Part Donation Process altered. I had heard something in passing about the bill, not giving it a second thought. Until I read this article, and found my jaw dropping.

What did Bob have to say about it?
"Senators voted 35-0 Tuesday for legislation that gives harvesters - formally known as procurement organizations - first priority in the process of deciding whether a person's body parts should be donated."

"Harvesters would move ahead of the spouse, children, siblings or other family members."

"The measure, SB 197, now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration."


"Currently, the spouse is first on the list of who decides whether donations should occur..."


"The proposed law would allow a procurement organization to override a family member's wishes.."
(Go buy the Aberdeen American News to read it all.)


So, if I read this article correctly, unless I somehow affirm in writing that I don't want my organs harvested, the legislature actually intends to allow someone to strip my corpse like a stolen car, regardless of what my wife has to say about it?

Now don't get me wrong. I think organ donation is as noble of a thing as you can do in the case of the loss of a family member. What I reject in it's absolute entirety is the assertion that the legislature is going to give organ harvesters a shot at me no matter what my wife or family might say.

Absent prior refusal, the legislature is going to give a business (or organization) first rights to the disposition of my remains over that of my wife or children. That offends me on so many levels, I'm almost seething at the prospect. Because the notion that government can shove a grieving spouse out of the way in a decision to harvest my organs is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!

It used to be that once you died, you were free from the government taking anything more from you. If this passes, guess what, they're only going to get started. Over a wife or child's objections, they'll let someone put you up on the blocks, strip you of anything of value, and then hand you over. Hopefully, they'll be enough left for a closed casket. Because this bill allows for them to take the whole thing if they so choose for "research."

Admittedly, the language in this measure is complicated and at times confusing. So, it is possible that the interpretation I'm reading might be in dispute.

But if it's not - look out.

We can only speculate whether they'll give this measure some thought in the House of Representatives before they decide to drop spouses and children behind organ harvesting companies in the pecking order of disposing of your earthly remains.

Go read the bill here and decide for yourselves.

(Update - go read my new post. I might have misjudged this one - pp)


Anonymous said…
I can't believe you are so surprised--this is what the South Dakota legislature DOES. They try to pass legislation that goes against the wishes of your family, your doctors, your God, and strip you of your rights to choose what to do with your own body.
Anonymous said…
Considering the sponsors of this bill, I would be skeptical too. Besides, any bill that long and complicated should be given the red button, as Betty Olson says. I'm surprised someone , such as Frank k. or Bill N. didn't vote NO!
Anonymous said…
As I understand it, this simply states that if you HAVE AGREED to be a donor, only a statement explicitly stating your withdrawl of consent, made by either you or your legally appointed representative, prior to your death, can stop the donation.

Unless I'm misreading, this does not place a procurement organization's wishes ahead of those of the spouse, it simply states that the last recorded wishes of the individual in question stand regardless of whether or not the spouse agrees with those wishes.
Anonymous said…
Veritas has it right. Once again the crazies of South Dakota get all worked up before they understand what is happening.
Anonymous said…
It sounds like the Boston Legal episode from the other night.

Denny Crain
Anonymous said…
What if you used the donor option on your drivers license decades ago and quit doing it. Are they going to say that you once said ok and not checking the donor box in later years does not imply removal of that agreement?

I do not trust the body snatchers. There is too much money in body parts because nobody bothered to regulate to make sure body parts were donated. Since they started selling cadaver tissue and bones there are more problems with bodies being stripped in funeral homes. This is so sick.
Even if you checked a donor box your family still should get the first say or there won't be enough left to bury.

Remind me to die at home and have them burn me in a fire out back.
Anonymous said…
way too long... there are too many loopholes in this one.
Anonymous said…
All of these comments are ridiculous. As someone who has been through the "donor" process by donating my husband's organs and tissues, I can say with 100% certainty that the idea of "stripping" your body like a stolen car is absurd. First of all, the family has to sign a document that organs can be harvested. Secondly, the family decides what organs will be taken, if in fact, they are viable. Thirdly, the notion that a body is stripped clean so there will be nothing left to bury is pure bologna. Donor bodies are treated with the utmost respect, even more than a live surgical patient. An open casket funeral is absolutely possible as no one can even tell that organs have been harvested from the body. I hope people search for accurate info on this important subject before making any rash decisions. I have worked closely with LifeSource, the procurement agency for the South Dakota region. They will provide any info you need about donation.

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