Should we be worried about organ donation? Yes! Double yes, if you've signed your driver's license, because Illinois has a law, that insures your wish to donate your organs, if you have signed your driver's license. No family member may interfere. The signing of the drivers license implies consent; and that has been codified through the Illinois Legislature.
Brain death, as a diagnosis of death, is dubious to say the least. I would like a clear succinct definition of brain death. Do we declare death based on a solitary organ? I also thought about severely brain damaged people. Are they brain injured, or are they close to brain death? Are they alive? For sure they're profoundly ill. But it's troublesome to think that their brain function measures their humanity. A lot of people are in trouble if that's the case. How about the profoundly affected Altzheimer's patients? How about all the people who have neurological problems? Has it occurred to anybody, that they may be next on the list?
Is organ donation a noble idea? I think it's an individual decision based on principle and informed consent and the knowledge, that we never do evil, even if good will come of it (we do not hasten death in order to do good). This is called a utilitarian view of life. This view may be becoming readily acceptible, in our hedonistic society. We exist for the benefit of others, not solely because we're made in the image of God.
There is no doubt that there is a shortage of organs. Should that mean, that we utilize a brain death definition of death, in order to solve this societal problem? Many, who need organs, not all, need them because they have not been good stewards of their own health. Kidney donation, not everyone, but a good majority, have resulted from a lack of blood pressure control, untreated diabetes or a use of drugs, that perhaps are not in the prescription category.
If our society continues the way it's going, I predict, that organ donation will increase, because society is becoming more utilitarian. I don't believe everyone should feel oppressed, if they are opposed to organ donation. The problem, I think, that just like abortion, there has not been a good dialogue. Technology has run away from ethics. Those who are opposed to organ donation are painted as right-wing extremists, whose values and ideas threaten society.
I believe, that if studied, the history and advancement of organ donation bears careful re-evaluation. In the beginning, we declared death, based on the absence of respiration and heart beat. Now we declare death, but only for organ donors, based on a shifting criteria of brain death.