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49


L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 49, June 30, 1999

Letters to the Editor

by Our Readers

Send Letters to TLE@johntaylor.org


Letter from Terence Geoghegan


Gentlemen:

           A few brief comments on two articles appearing in TLE No. 48. (For my other correspondents, I am enclosing the full text of TLE No. 48 at the very bottom of this message. Time to subscribe, you lot.)
           First I should mention that the two first pieces -- Mr. Taylor's 13 philosophical precepts and Mr. Smith's "Thirteen Questions" for GWB were absolutely brilliant. Between the two, you have crafted the finest bullshit detector I have seen in some time. My compliments.
           On to the two specific items I wished to comment on:
           In "THE NEW 'PROVOS'," Andy Barniskis proposes a new, "Provisional" NRA, to express our displeasure with the current regime.
           I like it.
           I have been an NRA Life Member since about 1985, and have similarly been dissatisfied with the pantywaist accommodationist policies of the NRA for some time. Like others, I have toyed with the idea of la grande geste, as publicly as possible resigning my Life Membership in protest.
           How much more elegant is Mr. Barniskis's proposal! After all, we PAID for this membership -- why should we have to give it up simply because we lack the facility of a Charlton Heston or a Wayne La Pierre for ass-kissing and boot-licking? (And yes, I will dutifully send a copy of this to the Chamberpots -- uh I meant Chambermaids -- uh, I meant Chamberlains -- at the NRA.)
           Andy, with your permission I'd like to sign on immediately so that I can call myself a charter member of the Provisional NRA. I like the way the word looks, included in my usual sign-off as it appears below this message. I like what it means even better.

---

           The second matter of interest--in an article originally published by the CATO institute, Casey J. Lartigue Jr. laments the lack of an adequate supply of transplant organs.
           But the solution to this matter is simple. It can be accomplished with the stroke of a pen.
           This is my understanding; please correct me if I am wrong:
           In the U.S., one can, with difficulty, exercise one's right to donate organs. For example, I carry in my wallet the "donor card" supplied by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Not satisfied with this, I have taped to my license itself the following signed, dated language:
           IN CASE OF DEATH: I AM AN ORGAN DONOR!!! HARVEST ALL USABLE ORGANS IMMEDIATELY!!!
           Of course, this won't suffice either. In the case of my death, medical personnel will dither while my body cools and my organs deteriorate, waiting for ANOTHER authorization from my next-of-kin.
           How stupid. Here's the solution: immediately pass a federal law, superseding all state laws (with provision for the states to opt out, to satisfy 10th Amendment concerns) which states:
           "Those who DO NOT wish to donate organs upon death may affirmatively choose not to, by signing and carrying with them at all times a document to that effect. Otherwise, the 'default setting' is that all dead meat belongs to the gummint."
           For those Libertarians among us, we can propose a private-sector administrator of the organ banks and transplant lists to keep the gummint out of it, but you get the idea -- once you're toast, you're in the organ banks so that SOMEONE can allocate your organs to the next folks on the national, or local, or however you want to administrate it, recipient list.
           Those who have pagan superstitions about being buried in one piece, or whatever benighted anti-social crap leads them to such hostile behavior, can ensure that their precious meat will never be disturbed. (Witness the well-known shortage of organs in Italy -- until the parents of an American boy, murdered in Reggio Calabria, shamed a whole country into changing its ways.) Of course, fair is fair--opting out of the organ donation default setting will mean that they are ineligible for RECEIVING any organ transplants. Let's see how many stand on principle, and for how long.
           This legislation would require some sort of anti-litigation protective clause, ensuring that those medical personnel who harvested organs in a good faith belief that the arriving meat was a willing donor, when in fact said meat had just failed to carry its anti-transplant card in its swim trunks or whatever, would be shielded from lawsuits for "wrongful harvesting."
           As a society, where did we ever get the stupid idea that perfectly good organs should be thrown away simply because their erstwhile owners were too goddamned lazy to fill out a donor card, or because next-of-kin were unavailable? Keep in mind that this proposed law would do NOTHING to prevent folks who don't want to contribute from refusing to do so -- it would only shift the "burden of proof," as it were.
           Your comments?

Cordially,
Terence Geoghegan
bldrnnr@west.net


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