THE NEW DONOR OPT-OUT SCHEME: A law without vision, openness, clear thought or purpose


The Government’s Donor “deemed consent” Law is another toxic attempt to rip the heart and lungs out of individual freedom

How many of you were aware of this?

From spring 2020, organ donation in England will move to an ‘opt out’ system. You may also hear it referred to as ‘Max and Keira’s Law’.

All English adults will be considered to have agreed to be an organ donor when they die unless they have recorded a decision not to donate or are in one of the excluded groups. (There aren’t a lot of people in the excluded groups)

I’m indebted to old comrade-in-arms Lizzie Cornish for pointing it out to me. Hardly any of us know about it for one very simple reason: apart from some scattered, muted and neutral press reporting in 2017, the Government has not spent any money at all publicising the move…..apart from what these days I call the ‘SPA Media’ – pamphlets and notices that are rarely seen or read.

Do you remember the furore about the May 2019 Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Bill passing Parliament and getting Royal Asssent? No? That’s because there wasn’t any.

To confirm the sleight of hand in play re this one, look no further than the original NHS leaflet about it [my emphasis]:

‘….the new rules will come into effect in Spring 2020 and there will be grace period between the royal assent and when the rules come into effect to allow the NHS to prepare for the change and allow for public information.’

Um, after the event, then. I mean, c’mon….you have to laugh.

Not that I’m holding the US up as a paragon of virtue, but at least over there they treated the exact same issue somewhat differently. US Health expert Nancy Valko wrote in October 2017, ‘Whether we are renewing our driver’s licenses, reading the news or watching TV, it’s almost impossible to miss the campaign to persuade us to sign an organ donation card.’

They chose the route of persuading with information in preference to obligation by stealth.

Before we get into this, there are many folks out there who will think me a nit-picking liberty obsessive for highlighting the issue. That’s fair enough – if you don’t care, you don’t care. I merely ask you to consider the precedent this move sets, and both the immediate consequences and longer-term ramifications.

The Bill that is now Law on this new NHS “policy” displays so much dysfunctional muddle in State thinking about the broader implications, it’s hard to know where to start. So let’s go to the essentially libertarian core of it all: the Government’s claim is that by dying without opting out of having your organs farmed, you have consented to desecration of your cadaver. Hence the idiotic concept of ‘deemed consent’ – something that only a devious lawyer could ever create and then claim as logical. The beauty of it is that the person assumed to have given consent is now extinct, and thus unlikely to argue the point. George Harrison once wrote a lyric, “they’ll tax the pennies on your eyes”. Now it seems they’ll rob your body as well.

Personally, I don’t care, because I’ll be dead. However, I suspect my daughters would be a bit concerned to be told that the thing in the coffin had been emptied of organic content without their permission. But there are three, rather more telling, points here:

  • This is yet another move by the constitutionally braindead to disrespect the citizenry and bend the rules on medical ethics
  • It’s not my knackered old organs they’re going to want – of which, rather more below.
  • The “good” to be obtained from this switch of the permission/smash & grab things is (a) almost homoaeopathic and (b) a symptom of dead-end (sorry) thinking.

The NHS suggests it will save up to 700 lives a year. 700 lives among 70 million people –  an improvement of 1 in 100,000, or 0.01%. So the “thinkers” behind these numbers would like to stick a thin wedge in liberty’s door for the sake of 700 people. That is blinkered thinking of a quite incredible order.

I have to state at this point that I am not remotely surprised to see the medical profession involved in the process: put consultants and others keen to hit targets and drum up more business in the same room as a bunch of BigHairs, and this is exactly the sort of ethically dubious bollocks I’d expect to emerge from it. Doctors find it hard enough to see us as anything other than a slab of meat when we’re alive, let alone after we’re dead.

Let’s get real on what the God-complex medics and corporacrats want here: they want as many young healthy organs as they can possibly lay their impeccably scrubbed hands on….and to Hell with the consequences. How many 23 year-old bikers, 30 year-old truck drivers, construction guys, pylon workers or paragliders are going to opt out of the new legislation, if they don’t even know about it?

Let’s say there’s a major disaster not involving organ failure – a motorway pile-up, an air crash or whatever. Some will be carrying donor cards, some won’t. So what’s the point of having a donor card? There won’t be one: donor cards are being phased out in favour of taking without permission or forethought. 

Can you imagine the scene as 180 air passengers in Coach have died after the rear of the plane collided with a building on landing: low on gas, the plane hasn’t ignited, and most of the business/First Class passengers have survived. Whom do the authorities of the future send into the plane – paramedics or paraorganists….or both? “I think this one’s still alive!” will be replaced by “I think this one’s dead!”

Mad? I don’t think so: the NHS has already tried “rationing” medicine: it led to my father’s dementia going untreated, old people facing death by “pathway”, and undertreated infection giving me three years of prostate pain. GPs happily complied with Whitehall directives and pharmco guidelines they knew to be based on cost-cutting not patient outcome. They are no more or less open to moral hazard than the rest of us.

OK, I see perfectly well that my nightmare vision is in poor taste, but poor taste is almost a requirement these days to actually achieve the effect of cold water thrown at a human head. I have a treasured medical friend in Paris who will say, “this is all pointless semantics”. But it isn’t any such thing: the NHS is a dying model that will – sooner or later, for better or worse – be replaced by something more limited in its goals, and better designed to make its better-off critics pay for the services they so eagerly grab when their own health fails.

Healthcare is one of the biggest business sectors on the planet: there are far too many of us, and far too few resources to cure even a tiny fraction of that 7.7 billion and counting. Already – from India via the Philippines to China – selling one’s own organs is a thriving black market.

In that context, we would be mad to rule out any sociopathic possibilities in the pursuit of mammon, medical fame and ends justifying means. There is only one Hippocratic oath in medicine, but the profession is full of myopic hypocritical oafs who should never be let anywhere near decisions about liberty and democracy.

Many fans of the blogosphere keep wondering what the lunatic 3% privileged fringe and their 12% of coattail-sniffers are going to do with us all when their counterfeit money creation services and robotisation plans land us with something approaching 85% unemployment.

Well, there’s always domestic service: that’ll use up 15% of the population if Victorian practices are anything to go by. Then there’s slavery –  the US economy south of Arkansas was based on it for eighty years before the Civil War. And of course, Coronavirus is a possibility – although, I think, a slight one.

But that’s still, at best in today’s numbers, going to leave around 1.2 billion very high net worth individuals, generating billions of dollars in healthcare research, wondering what to do with the 5 billion outside gated places with idle hands and the Devil ever-present.

Some think they’ll eat us. But not everyone likes offal. Nihil desperandum citizens, now we have a use for it… of the very noblest order. For no man hath greater love than to lay down his organs for his fellow man. Right?

“And what’s your solution to the problem, smartarse?” I hear the Thomases ask.

My first response is this: what problem? 700 deaths a year is regrettable, but nowhere near worth the risks I’ve outlined. Second, develop ways in which prosthetic organs can evade rejection – then there will never be an organ waiting list ever again. Third, stop State healthcare research on longevity, and provision of esoteric medicine: put the money into improving quality of life rather than longevity per se.

But above all, the wider issue remains the same. Our increasingly disrespectful and dictatorial crypto-fascist State is already happy to see early deaths for female pensioners, coups d’état by the unwisely intelligent bureaucratic class, a light touch on religious murder in return for arms sales, and utterly bent wage/unemployment data as a means to their ends….but not ours.

The Brino agreement pushed through by Boris Johnson is to be the subject of wild celebration tonight; but that has been “achieved” by stealth – and with the complicity of lazy and corrupt journalists. The Donor Law passed last May is another example of the State’s preference for obligation by stealth. I’d have liked to see it strangled at birth. That time has passed. But like the theft of WASPI/Backto60 pensions, it has set a precedent we must reverse at the first opportunity.