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Aff Case

We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.
It is because I agree with the words of Herman Melville that I must affirm todays resolution:
Resolved: A just society ought to presume consent of organ procurement of the deceased.
In order to clarify todays round Id like to offer the following definitions from MerriamWebsters online dictionary:
Just: Agreeing with what is considered morally right or good
Ought: Used to express obligation.
Presume: To accept legally or officially that something is true until it is proved not true.
Consent: To agree to do or allow something: to give permission for something to happen or be
done.
Procurement: The act or process of procuring, or to get (something) by some action or effort.
Deceased: No longer living.
The highest value in todays round is the preservation of life. Life is something that is
valued in all societies, especially a just society. In a just society, the preservation of life is
important because saving life is morally right.
The Criterion that best upholds my value is Natural Rights. Natural rights is an
enlightenment era ideology that stated natural rights are the rights that are endowed to a person
by their creator. Such rights are thought to be unabridgable by the government. Natural rights
upholds my value because one of the most important and explicitly stated natural right is the
right to life.
My first contention is that: Current inefficiencies in organ donation systems lead to an
annual loss of thousands of life years.
Mark A. Schnitzler of The Department of Medicine of Saint Louis University of Medicine says:
It has been estimated that only 42% of eligible donors, medically suitable patients who have met
brain-death criteria, actually

undergo donation for a variety of reasons, including systems

problems, lack of identification and lack of consent. Our estimates translate this to over 250
000 life-years lost annually in the United States alone because of the inability to convert
eligible organ donors into actual organ donors. This is similar to estimates of life-years lost annually in the United
States from stroke or liver disease.

Further, combining lost potential donors and unused or unprocured

organs, our estimates suggest an annual loss of over 600 000 life-years, similar to the life-years lost as a
result individually of suicide, congenital anomalies, homicide or perinatal conditions and approximately one half to one fourth the life-years lost
from HIV infection, heart disease, cancer or accidents.

Impact: The current system just isnt getting it done. Less than half of the potential
eligible donors actual donate their organs to another person. There is nothing but benefit when
we look at presumed consent of donation, especially since there is no inherent harm because the
organs are being taken from the deceased. The potential number of lives that can be saved and
preserved is inconceivable.
Sub point A: organ donations add on average 30 additional life years to patients
awaiting transplantation.
Mark A. Schnitzler also says:
Although the desirability of organ donation as a societal goal has not been questioned, until now, no

clear estimate of the

benefit given by a deceased organ donor has been put forth. In a previous model, we
attempted to estimate the threshold for investment in organ donation by looking at cost
savings and quality gains related to renal transplantation, yet clearly the true value of organ donation extends
far beyond simply avoiding dialysis for end-stage renal disease patients.

Here we have expanded our focus to estimate

the life-years gained not only from renal transplantation, but also from the resulting liver,
heart, lung and pancreas transplants that can be performed as a result of the act of
donation. The results are staggering. A single donor gives on average over 30 additional life-years to
patients awaiting transplantation. A fully utilized donor, providing seven organs, gives over
55 life-years. In addition, transplantation of every organ type has been associated with
significant quality of life benefits. These findings give a new meaning to the phrase gift of
life.
Impact: 30-55 additional life-years is a staggering number. Thats potentially over half
of a life time that is given with every donation. By allowing presumed consent of organs, we

would increase the number of organs that can be donated, thus increasing the number of lifeyears significantly.
My second contention is that: Presumed consent systems increase donor rates.
Veronica English, a member of the British medical Association, says:
Of course, the key question is does it work? It is notoriously difficult to prove a causal
relation between particular determinants and donation rates and to extrapolate from the
experiences of one country to another. Nevertheless, careful analyses seem to indicate that
presumed consent improves donation rates. Analysis of 28 countries found that those
countries that consistently implemented a policy of presumed consent had higher donation
rates than those that did not. Abadie and Gay did a detailed regression analysis comparing
22 countries over 10 years taking account of determinants that might affect donation rates:
gross domestic product per capita, health expenditure, religious beliefs, legislative system, and
number of deaths from traffic crashes and cerebrovascular diseases. They concluded that
When other determinants of donation rates are accounted for, presumed consent
countries have roughly 25-30% higher donation rates than informed consent countries.
One explanation is that, even if the family has the final say, countries with presumed
consent legislation have fewer refusals.
Impact: The most important thing to recognize is that a new system of presumed consent
increases donor rates anyway. This continues to show the inherent benefits of a presumed
consent system. With higher donation rates, there is automatically an increase in organs, once
again showing the possibility to save and preserve life.

My third contention is: PC minimizes errors opt-out is more likely to be accurate


Michael B. Gill, from Arizona University, says:
Proponents of presumed consent can plausibly claim that under their proposal there will be
fewer mistakes than under the current system. They can claim this not only because a
majority of Americans prefer to donate their organs, but also because it is plausible to
believe that a person who does not want to donate is more likely to opt out under a system

of presumed consent than a person who does want to donate is to opt in under the current
system. This belief is based on the idea that most of those opposed to organ transplantation
have conspicuous religious or moral objections of which they themselves are very aware,
and that as a result these people are unlikely to neglect to opt out of a system of presumed
consent, unlikely in the same way a Quaker is unlikely to forget to register as a conscientious objector to the draft, or as a Jehovahs Witness
is to forget to inform her physician of his opposition to blood transfusion .

The wish to donate ones organs, in contrast,

is usually tied to religious and moral values that are relatively unremarkable, and so people
who wish to donate are less likely to register their preference.