Friday, April 27, 2007

Human Organ Transplant Act (HOTA)

lol looks like im gonna be writing a GP essay today. but pls hear me out, this is an issue i feel quite strongly abt.

it's abt the Human Organ Transplant Act (HOTA). in July 2004, Hota was amended to state that kidneys, livers, hearts and corneas suitable for transplant may be removed from all Singaporeans and permanent residents upon their death, unless they have opted out. Muslims are exempted, and need to opt-in to this scheme if they want to. before that, everyone had to opt in.

since it now becomes mandatory, when people turn 21, they will receive a letter from the Ministry of Health telling them abt this scheme that they are now part of. people who want to opt out can then do so by replying the mail, if they are too lazy to do so or otherwise, then they stay in the scheme.

although most singaporeans/PRs stay in the scheme, most cause they are too lazy to opt out, there is an increasing number of singaporeans who are opting out of this scheme, especially in the age range of 21-29 years old.

of course, the immediate consequence of doing such a stupid thing will be that these people are given a lower priority for donor organs if they ever need one. duh right. it is only fair.

and the far-reaching consequence will be, obviously, that they are bloody selfish and depriving another person of a chance at life if they happen to unexpectedly die.

and, as The New Paper had reported, here are some stats:

1) today, there are more than 600 patients waiting for an organ transplant in Singapore.
2) the demand for cadaveric organs for transplant continues to increase rapidly.
3) about 15 patients die each year waiting for a liver and about three patients die each year waiting for a heart.

so, u might think, why the hell would anyone want to opt out of this scheme? well, The New Paper conducted a survey on 150 people aged 21 to 29 years (25 said they would opt out), and here are some reasons given by some singaporeans. try not to snort or snigger haha.

Mr Benny Tan, an undergraduate who is turning 21 this year, said: 'I will opt out because I do not know how my organs will help others, whether it will be beneficial to the right people. There is the possibility that my organs may land up in a bad person's body.'

Ms Jennifer Chew, 26, a business consultant, said: 'I don't think of the issue a lot because I'm still young and have no health problems. If I need an organ, I would probably travel overseas and buy one or get a loved one to donate.'

the main concern of many is that their organs might be harvested before they are really dead.

Ms Chew said: 'If I stay in, doctors might be more willing to declare me dead in order to harvest my organs in the optimum time. What if I'm not really dead? I can't get over that.'

ok now here comes my opinions:

1) mr benny tan: a load of bullshit. "i do not know how my organs will help others"? it will damn well save a few lives, dude.
and for every 600 pple waiting for an organ transplant, how many of them are actually "bad people"? what's the chance of that? maybe 5-10 out of 600, and i think i would take that chance. hell if ur organs really end up in an ex criminal's, hey, tough luck, but u still saved a life.

2) ms jennifer chew sounds totally elitist, rich and snobbish. "If i need an organ, I would probably travel overseas and buy one". lol. someone rich liao. wtf. i must control myself here otherwise i might get into trouble with either one of these 2 pple lol.

hmm now the main concern on everyone's mind: "doctors might be more willing to declare me dead in order to harvest my organs in the optimum time."

of course, this might be a probable and real concern.

but i suggest an alternative way of looking at things: most injuries, illnesses and stuff can, and are, treated. heck, doctors WANT to save lives. that's what drives them in their profession.

if injuries become so severe that doctors have to fight really hard to save you, to the point that they are "willing to declare u dead" even if u aren't really dead yet, u're probably near death anyways. no use lengthening it. the truth is, might as well harvest ur organs in the optimum time. it's true. might be harsh and cold way of looking at it, but as i said, doctors want to save lives. they will try all they can and if there is hope they will. if it's really that bad, there's nth that can be done.

Mr Bernard Tan, 28, a research analyst, also has fears - about going into the hospital and not coming out alive.
He said: 'I recently had a procedure done in hospital. In the middle of the night, when I was in a bit of pain, the thought occurred to me that if something were to happen, and I had not opted out, doctors might not fight so hard to save me in order to harvest my organs.'

so dun be like bernard tan. that above comment is quite simply silly, childish and lame.

'The Ministry's theme for Hota has always been that it's a 'gift of life', because we recognise that it is a gift by the individual who has the potential to save lives.
so i would appeal to everyone not to opt out of HOTA. be nice. be generous.

save lives.


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