According to a new policy currently being considered by MPs in Australia, unless you’ve filled out an official “opt-out” document, your organs will be automatically donated after you die. The changes are supposed to help curb the illegal organ trade.

Under the new law, Australians who go overseas to receive an illegal transplant will be criminally prosecuted upon their return to the country and doctors will be required to report any suspicions they have about patients who might have received an illegal organ donation overseas.

Why?

Well, in 2016, the Sunday Telegraph reported that almost 100 Australians had traveled overseas to have a black market transplant, even paying up to “$250,000 for a kidney transplant”1 in some instances. All due to a shortage of organ donations.

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In fact, they are so serious about the move, that they created the controversial video below. Please note, many people (including my editor) have found the video to be incredibly offensive:

The opt-out system that parliament wants Australia to consider is something that seven of the top ten organ donating countries in the world use, two of whom adopted the policy just last year.

“The Human Organ Trafficking and Organ Transplant Tourism report, which was tabled in parliament on Monday December 3, revealed Australians turn to the illicit market as the demand for organs outweighs the number of donors.

There are almost 1500 on the Australian organ transplant waiting list with two thirds, 1003, requiring kidney transplants.”2

The report says that often times, people pay thousands of dollars from an organ supplied by someone who is “poor, exploited or unable to give free and informed consent to donation.”3

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I’m not sure I agree with the video above and wonder how many people will really know about needing to fill out the opt-out forms. This seems like a disaster waiting to happen. Not all people want to be parted with their organs, some for religious reasons. And if they aren’t adequately advised of what they need to do? Well, I imagine the courts will end up hearing one or two cases.

Are you a current organ donor? Why or why not?

SOURCE:

  1. Daily Mail
  2. Daily Mail
  3. Daily Mail