Is The DMV The Place To Choose To Be An Organ Donor 

Picture this: For the last three hours, you've been waiting in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles to get your drivers license renewed. You are frazzled to the point of barely remembering why you are there. You get your thinker somewhat turned back on and get the correct paperwork. But while filling it out, you notice something new. In order to get your license renewed, you now have to choose, "yes" or "not at this time," to being an organ donor after you die. You think that this is odd, that in the past you could just leave that section blank, if you did not want to fill it out to be a donor. But now it is mandatory that you make a choice, right then and there, at the DMV.

This is exactly what New York legislation is working towards. There are bills being pushed through the legislative branch that would make it mandatory for a person to make an organ donor choice at the DMV. There has even been at least one bill that at the time went nowhere, which sought to take away the family's right to contest. Where there is one bill, there is certain to be another just like it some day. And if this could happen in one state, it could happen in all.

This means that a loved one of yours could be on the spot at the DMV and choose to be a donor without realizing the ins and outs of it all; and that then some day a bill could be passed into law, taking rights away from family to contest. Then you and the rest of the family are left to deal with the possibility of a loved ones body being turned into a smorgasbord at the time of death and legally there being nothing to do about it. And we thought the DMV was already a living nightmare!

Organ donations should be an above-board thing. There should be no trickery about it. And forcing a person to make a choice at a DMV is just wrong. A person should not be under any pressure when choosing to be a donor. People can be easily intimidated and make an on-the-spot decision without truly understanding what is happening. I spoke with a woman in one New York assemblymanís office, who swore to me that the family's consent would always be needed, which is a bogus statement. What if people are told such at the DMV and people choose "yes," as a result of believing nothing could ever change with a current law?

Do we really want DMV employees to be giving out advice on being a donor and acting like lawyers? Most of us go to a lawyer's office to draw up a will, for the giving of our worldly things after we die; but for our body parts, we would go to the DMV? And no law is forcing us to make a choice with our worldly goods, but one would force us to make a choice with our very body.

I would be mortified to learn that an organ in me came to be there by trickery and or intimidation. And I would think that any normal person would feel just awful to think that some family was not on-board with the donation that came to be in such a manner. 

These bills are in direct violation of the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution: "No state shall make or enforce any law, which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of the law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

It is a privilege to drive, and forcing people to make a choice on being an organ donor, infringes on that privilege, because if they do not make a choice right there, they cannot obtain a license. Also, choosing "not at this time," is an implication of possibly later. There are some people who would not want such an implication. And if a law is ever passed that takes away the right of the family to contest, such law would violate the family's right to property, as a dead body is the property of the next of kin. And of course we all have the right to be protected from bad laws.

These same New York lawmakers (Senator Carlucci and Assemblyman Ortiz) previously attempted to push through "opt out" bills that would have automatically enrolled people into the donor program if people did not know to and then choose to opt out to be.

Why would anyone in a right mind trust such deviant lawmakers to not change current laws that would take a family's rights away to contest that which took place in a DMV? And one last thing: I surely would not want to be signed up to be a donor and then learn the hard way that eventually a law gets enacted that would deem another person in more need of my organs, if I don't have long to live. Simply put, I don't trust these bad lawmakers. Do you
? At the very least, if this passes, I will chose, "Not at this time."

Current bills: Senate: Click Here - Assembly: Click Here
Old opt out bills: Senate: Click Here - Assembly: Click Here

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Debra J.M. Smith - © 06-24-11

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