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January 14, 2008



Well we wait for the first 'mistaken' organ removal by some NHS hospital.

The state doesn't own my body and shouldn't make me have to sign an opt-out to prevent it from harvesting my organs.

Where are all those feminists with their "My Body. My Choice" slogans when you need them?

Luis Enrique

"Would a government that owes its election to such techniques be entirely legitimate?"

What, as opposed to a government that owes its election to all the old dirty political tricks that were used before this list of biases was discovered? I imagine any actually existing government owes its position in power to more worrying shortcomings than its ability to frame the issues etc.

So what do you think about the implications of these biases for policy? Faced, say, with the option of destroying 50 jobs and creating 100 new ones, should we decline because the endowment effects means the loss will hurt those it affects more than the job creation will? Or should we say that in the long run net job creation is more important and should take priority these contemporaneous psychological costs? Hard to say: there's not much more to life than contemporaneous psychology.

Luis Enrique

I'm sorry, the first part of my comment was badly put. I meant that because any realistic democratic process is likely to involve these sub-rational decision making elements, then unless we want to call all democracies illegitimate, we can't use them (absence thereof) as criteria for legitimacy.


The fuss is about the changed incentives for doctors and hospital administrators.

Pasty Muncher

A comment here suggests we wait for the first mistake of and organ being removed - pretty unlikely in the event the organ is removed from someone certified dead


Actually, the issue for me isn't about decision making, nor is is about ownership; it's about how we behave in a civilised society. If I have something that you want, I expect you to ask me politely if you can have it - I don't expect you to presume that I consent.

It might seem a small, picky point, but presumed consent, without explicitly obtaining it, is tantamount to theft. It certainly is not civilised behaviour.

chris strange

Why exactly is this debate going on at all? Spare organs are a scarce resource and we already know the best way to distribute a scarce resource in the most efficient way possible, establish property rights and a market. Centralised rationing is not the way to go even if opt in.


".. first mistake of and organ being removed - pretty unlikely in the event the organ is removed from someone certified dead": the mistake will prove to be that there was no need to give up hope on the now-cadaver surviving.

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