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September 06, 2009

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The United States is a whole lot closer to an opt-out policy on organ donation than most people know. Most people think you’re assumed not to be an organ donor unless you sign up to be one. That used to be true, but it’s not any more.

Under the 2006 Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, an organ procurement organization (OPO) can assume you are an organ donor while they search for evidence of your true intentions. They can hook you up to artificial life support machines to keep your organs fresh, even if your advance healthcare directive says you don’t want artificial life support. They can hassle your family for permission to harvest your organs. They can ask a government bureaucrat for permission if they can’t find your family. They can do this even if the “organ donor” box on your driver’s license is blank.

The 2006 UAGA has been enacted in 39 states and the District of Columbia. Over 80% of the U.S. population lives in states that have enacted this law.

The 2006 UAGA stacks the deck against people who don’t want to be organ donors. Unless your decision not to donate is documented in exactly the right way, OPOs can ignore your decision. State organ donor registries, which OPOs must search under the 2006 UAGA, are biased against non-donors. None of them, not a single one, will record your decision not to donate. They literally won’t take “no” for an answer.

DoNotTransplant.com operates the only online donor registry that allows you to say “no” to organ donation in a way that will stand up under the 2006 UAGA. OPOs are required under law to check this registry. If they find your name on it, they’re legally forbidden from harvesting your organs.

Wow. Thank you for posting this. I had no idea that this was already going on.

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Hillary On Mumbai

  • “My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families touched by these acts of terror in Mumbai. We still do not know the full measure of this tragedy, which has taken the lives of Indian citizens, Americans, and others who had traveled to Mumbai from around the world. Two New Yorkers, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and Rivka Holtzberg of Brooklyn are among those who have died, leaving behind their young son. The young couple had traveled from Brooklyn to manage a small Chabad house, welcoming Jews from India and elsewhere to learn, pray, and serve the community. There could be no sharper a reminder, nor a more poignant call to action, than the brutal and heinous violence visited upon the Nariman House and the Holtzberg family, living and working in Mumbai on a mission of peace, scholarship, and spiritual guidance. As those responsible are brought to justice, as we aid and support the victims and their families, as we work to defeat radical extremism and the terror it spawns, let us find strength in knowing that in the face of those who seek to take lives, there are those who seek to give hope and comfort. In the face of those who wish only to destroy, there are individuals like Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and Rivka Holtzberg who travel great distances far from their homes to build a better world.

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