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Spare parts

By Ian Nance - posted Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Because our readership is broad in nature and attitude, I'm presenting this article together with a plea for some feedback about what I think is a sensitive issue in society.

I want to know what many people seem to think about, and perhaps have against: organ donation.

For many years I've had this subject in the back of my mind, only coming forefront when I'm asked to certify on some official form whether I am willing to have my organs used anew on my death.


While enjoying listening to a recent discusssion on breakfast radio, I was interested in the exchanges between the host, and an expert on the question of organ donation agreement by a deceased person's being countered by family objections later, despite clear indications by that donor.

The discussion ended by raising the question of whether it would it be better for an opt-out system to be instituted, rather than the present opt-in, and this is what prompts me to write this article to see what kind of feedback may be an outcome.

I feel that the term "organ donation" has become trite, and is losing its impact by endless repetition.

The potential impact of its meaning has become clichéd like so many regularly-used phrases, such as "bushfire threat", "hidden agenda", "mass rally", and I would like to see the term replaced by something alluding more to the title of this article, "spare parts", for that is what justly it implies.

Spare parts are essential to just about everything which breaks down at some time.

Take the analogy of driving a car with a tyre which becomes badly damaged and needs replacing. If you have a spare on board, you can change it easily, otherwise you have to arrange a replacement which could be from a tyre retailer, to fit a new or retreaded tyre, or perhaps it could just be taken from a wrecked car having the same type of wheel.


Either way, there is no moral problem with getting the replacement, but what about human body spare parts, sourced from a dead person? After all, we don't carry spare parts around with us (except perhaps stem cells).

What is death?

To my Buddhist reasoning, it is nothing more than the end of one existence, and the commencement of another.

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About the Author

Ian Nance's media career began in radio drama production and news. He took up TV direction of news/current affairs, thence freelance television and film producing, directing and writing. He operated a program and commercial production company, later moving into advertising and marketing.

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