This is based on Autonomy “people have their own set of values and are able to deliberate courses of actions”. (Tong, 2007). Again it all comes down to education and the dispelling of myths. When one applies for a driver’s license all one does is check a box, I think a mandatory video should be shown explaining how donation works and the people it saves. Show all the people who can now see because of donated corneas, show happy families with a parent or child who received a kidney, or skin transplant, let it come from the recipients themselves.
After viewing a person should only check a box that states refusal of donation. The problem is not with the dead, but with the living. For example let’s say you have an eight year old daughter that gets hit by a car, she is rushed to the hospital and is brain dead. You the parent are in a state of shock and need time to grieve with the body. When does the conversation take place? How do you approach the parent? Are they really in a mental state to hear what the Organ requester says?
Certain organs need to be removed fast, how do you get the parent’s out of the room? Their bays body has been smashed and now someone wants to cut it open. If I were the parent I would scream “get the buck out now. ” That’s because I would be crazy with grief. Only after I calmed down would I be able to think rationally. The problem is the emotional state of people when the loved one has suffered an unforeseen accident. It’s easier to approach families with children, or adults who have been sick for a while, and are now approaching death.
The families are already in the grief process, and most likely there have been more frequent opportunities regarding the discussion of donation. There are many cultural and religious beliefs about the dead that must be respected. So as I believe in presumed consent, I think the family after full explanation still has the right to refuse. This is a matter of Virtue- based ethics “Ethics is more than a matter of rules; it is a matter of ideals. When virtue is at stake compliance is not enough”. I believe most people will donate and there will be fewer cases of people who don’t.
Why leave them in distress which would give organ donation an evil characteristic. I think presumed consent on a whole will lead to more organs, with room for the few exceptions of families that opt out when there was no original consent from the dying person. In the case of the State vs.. Powell the problem was no one knew the state could do this. Yes the harvesting served may people and the court did not find that the corpse was intentionally mutilated, as removal of the cornea does not disturb the look of the body except for and indentation around the eye socket.
The case was why was an autopsy ordered and were all the statues for removal of the cornea met. Was the the statement a dead body has no constitutional rights. If that is the case bodies could be used for whatever purpose the government saw fit. Cadavers could be used for medical experiments, used as crash course dummies, sent to a body farm, used for earthlier, who knows? Again public awareness could have made all the difference. People would know that upon death their corneas were used for such a humanistic and compassionate reason.