MARCH 27, 2017
Whose body is it, anyway?

If Manitoba politician Steven Fletcher gets his way, the government will cut open your body once you are dead and harvest up your insides.

OK, so maybe that’s a gruesome way to put it but Fletcher, who’s been paralyzed since 1996, wants organ donation rules changed.

Rather than having people sign organ donor cards or register on the province’s website to give consent, Fletcher wants the system to be opt out so your body is fair game once you’re gone unless you tell the government otherwise.

I don’t have an issue with organ donation because I, like many people, have the belief of, “If I’m dead, what do I need with all the body parts?”

The concern is that the bill Fletcher proposed in the legislature would essentially make my body the government’s property. That is where I have an issue. For decades people have fought to be allowed to do what they want with their body. Be it abortion or surgery, there have been and are countless fights from different groups about allowing people to retain control of their own body.

In changing the rules of organ donation, I think people might have resentment towards the government and not participate on that basis.

Yes, I realize organ donation will save lives after I am gone but on principle alone it almost makes me not want to participate because the government says it will have control of my body when I am gone unless I tell it otherwise.

The reality is my family has had organ donation and transplants amongst each other (kidney donated to a relative battling illness) so I understand the importance of making parts available. Because of my family’s history I will do the same when the time comes.

While it is unlikely Fletcher will get his way with the bill being passed, he said sometimes just starting a conversation is enough to bring awareness and make a difference.

Sure it can spark debate but ultimately it could come across as a pushy government wanting to control your body.


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