You Can Take It With You, But Why? - 09.28.98

I'm not sure why I always end up getting into arguments (ok, so they're not exactly huge) with people about it, but for some reason or another it really bugs me when I find out someone isn't an organ / tissue donor. I don't want to turn this into too much of a rant, but it's just something that I've never understood.

The argument that I seem to hear the most from people (and the one that makes absolutely no sense at all) is that, "I don't want anyone cutting me up when I'm dead."

The main reason this excuse is lame is the simple fact that it doesn't really matter what someone does to their body after they're dead. The fact still remains that they're dead and they're not actually going to feel someone cutting up their body and taking their heart or other vital organs out.

The other reason I find this argument lame is that it seems like such a vanity statement. I'm not sure if the person feels like they're simply being chopped-up and used as spare parts (like an old car at a junk yard) or whether they're afraid that they're not going to look pretty at their funeral. Either way, they're still dead, so why should they care? Besides that, morticians can do some pretty stellar reconstruction work these days.

Yet another reason there is bad logic in someone saying the above is that the body is just going to start rotting after awhile anyway. So, if the person is worried that they're going to be cut up when they're dead, I like to tell them not to worry, because they'll end up rotting into pieces anyway. If it's still a vanity issue, it's good to ask them if they're afraid of looking bad to the worms and other creatures that will end up devouring their flesh anyway.

The funny thing is that I know people who are avid recyclers, but refuse to be an organ donor. I've brought up the point before with people, but to this day, have never heard a response, except for, "It's my body and I can do what I want with it." Well, at least until they're dead and rotting they can.

The main reason that this all bothers me is because a lot of people in this country (and beyond) end up dying because there aren't enough organs or tissue to go around. While it's not a nice fact, hundreds of people die in car wrecks every day, and for the most part, their body parts go with them to the grave.

So, what's my stance on the whole thing? I'm an organ and tissue donor, and I've donated blood before (although I don't manage to get out often). The truth is, I don't care if my eyes, heart, liver, kidneys, lungs, and big chunks of skin get taken from me once I'm dead, although I'm not sure why anybody would want my stupid tissue anyway (especially my small penis).

Anyway, if you have a good argument against organ/tissue donation, mail it to me and I'll read it and possibly even post it here as a counter-point. Unless you have big plans for cryogenesis, the next time you have your drivers license updated (or get your drivers license), make sure to check the box that says you'll be a donor (also, tell your family of your decisions, because everything will go smoother if they know as well).

There, now I feel better.