France Nationalizes Corpses

Source: Le Figaro, April 14

Members of the French National Assembly will vote today on a controversial legal amendment that would allow organ donation without prior consent of the deceased or their next of kin.

That’s completely irresponsible, physician and UMP member of parliament Bernard Debré objects:

“This is nothing more and nothing less than the nationalization of the corpse. This brutal legislation fundamentally changes the philosophy of organ donations. Can you imagine a surgeon removing the kidneys, heart, lungs or cornea of a young man against his family’s will? Can you imagine a doctor then ‘giving back’ the mutilated corpse? We’ve crossed the line here from an act of solidarity accepted in advance by individuals or their families to the very impounding of the human body.”

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7 responses to “France Nationalizes Corpses

  1. When someone dies they no longer exist. The dead body is not them. Some of their parts may be useful in allowing another living human being to thrive. The value of keeping another person alive and functioning seems greater than preserving a dead body which will soon disintegrate in any case. The sooner we de-sentimentalize corpses, the better.

  2. Horace Krever

    David’s point is perfectly sound from any rational point of view. Reason, however, is not the only factor in the creation of public policy. Emotion cannot be entirely ignored. Although the needs of the living should take priority over emotional attitudes about the no longer living, an accomodation can be brought about by adopting the concept of “deemed consent”, that is, presuming that one consents to the use of his or her organs upon death, unless he or she opts out in writing while still alive.

  3. Eric, How do you come up with delightful bits like this, day after day after day? I am in simple awe. Cheers, Ch

  4. Elisabeth Ecker

    What worries me is that we are still not in agreement when a person is brain dead or really deceased. Who might decide who needs an organ most?

  5. Bringing new meaning to the phrase, “He lost his heart in Paris”…

  6. What can be deemed to be the least morbid and the most humane option in dead human body disposal? To embalm, to bury, to incinerate, to donate, to nationalize, to privatize, or to let rise again?