Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Most be people who are believe that an individual has a certain right to liberty and that this liberty can only be taken away from them in very set circumstances such as in courts. Hence why the idea of Guantanemo even with out torture thrown in is pretty bad for most people. I wrote my views on guantanamo here.

But an interesting debate is happening over in the UK at the moment. Sir Liam Donaldson, England’s Chief Medical Officer is calling for a system of presumed consent in relation to organ donation. Over on Adam Smith blog they argue against it making the point

Presumed consent is not the solution. It only means a further loss of individual liberty. It is doubtful Sir Liam Donaldson would ask for the state to legislate a time and a hospital for us to report too so that we may "pass away" under the correct circumstances for organ donation but the call for presumed consent is a step in that direction.

Now me personally I have no problem with this measure. But the comparison could be made with the Guantanamo situation invading someone else liberty for the saving of others liberty. By presuming guilt we are doing the same as presuming consent

But there are two fundamental difference between the 2 scenario’s. One without a trial we have no way of being sure that this measure is saving anyone. Where as with a transplant we are sure that it will save a life (barring complications). And two being denied your freedom during your life is a serious affliction on your person. What affect does removing your organs have on you when you are dead? Can you really infringe the liberty of a dead person.

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