Jul 282010
 

http://www.ajc.com/news/cherokee/cherokee-man-with-als-578828.html?cxntlid=cmg_cntnt_rss

 Short form: Man has ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), and only a few years to live. He’s going blind, has can’t walk but a few paces, can’t “put a stupid nut on a bolt.” Basically, he’s in misery. So, he wants to donate his organs. Not later, but now.

All the doctors he’s contacted have said not just “no,” but “hell no.”

Should he be allowed to? The Hippocratic Oath famously says “First do no harm.” But there’s long been a debate over whether the greater harm is to help someone terminal and miserable end their lives, or to use medical science to extend their misery for as long as possible. And his organs may be viable for transplant now, but some years down the line? Probably not. And there’s always the most important philosophical point to consider: it’s his life and his body, and his to do with as he wishes. But on the other hand, he can’t force someone else to do anything they don’t want to do.

Hmmm…

The feller in question has posted a video on YouTube, making his case:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lR1TmgeGCY

 Posted by at 9:32 am
  • sferrin

    I’m sure if he took a trip to China and presented his case they’d help him out. 😉 The irony is some of those same docs who turn their nose up at this man wanting to donate his life will happily perform a partial-birth abortion. Make sense of that one.

  • This is why, if I ever start getting to the point that I am looking at a long painful death with no chance of recovery, I plan on getting “lost” in the mountains. The medical industry cares more about making money off of prolonging my suffering than seeing that I have a good quality of life.

  • Somehow nobody in that debate — neither the patient nor the doctors — seems to be giving the slightest attention to the possibility that ALS might be caused by an infectious agent, and thus that the patient’s organs might pass on the disease if donated to other people.

  • admin

    Well, then here’s a spectacular opportunity. Harvest his organs and dole them out *only* to those in dire need, who will die unless they get them, but who stand a good chance of living long, healthy lives if they *do* get the organs. Keep track of the recipients over the rest of their lives. See if any get ALS. If a statistically significant portion of them do, then you have a good indication that there’s an infectious agent involved.

    Simple games theory:
    1) You don’t distribute non-infectious organs; recipients die soon.
    2) You don’t distribute infectious organs; recipients die soon.
    3) You distribute non-infectious organs; recipients die in a long time.
    4) You distribute infectious organs; recipients die somewhere between “soon” and “long time.”

    #3 is of course the prefered outcome, but #4 is still preferable to #1 and #2.

  • Robin

    >4) You distribute infectious organs; recipients die somewhere between “soon” and “long time.”

    4) Bend over, here come the recipients’ lawyers with a pineapple…

  • admin

    Nope. You make ’em sign a waiver in advance, giving them full knowledge of the issues and signing a3ay their rights to get all lawsuity in the event somethign goes goofy.

    And if they later come back and try to sue you anyway, you simply pay off some Mexican drug-thugs to kill them and harvest the organs. And to make the lawyers involved “disappear.”

    This part, at least, does not present much of an ethical quandry, since murderous Mexican drug cartels are at a higher ethical and moral level than your average ambulance-chasing trial lawyer.

  • “since murderous Mexican drug cartels are at a higher ethical and moral level than your average ambulance-chasing trial lawyer.”

    You made me laugh Scott. Thanks.

    As for the man involved, it is his choice, though of course a horrible moral dilemma for the doctor involved (and not because they’re all slaves to the drug companies). As for me, if I ever decide that life is not worth living anymore, I am with Tim. Make damn sure it’s what you want, and then get lost in the mountains somewhere.

  • Robin

    >You make ‘em sign a waiver in advance,

    >at a higher ethical and moral level than your average ambulance-chasing trial lawyer.

    Given the truth of the second, the first won’t be worth the paper it’s written on, when it comes to lawsuit time…