Department of Organ Harvesting
October 14, 2003
I recently renewed my driver's license, and I of course checked off the organ donor box because I'm a big believer in recycling in general and there just seems to be something efficient about reusing organs. (I figure my heart's in good shape, since, being a computer geek, I never actually useit.)
But I know a lot of people have misgivings about organ donation, particularly those prone to believing conspiracy theories. I have friends who are convinced that doctors will just let you die if you're in an accident or something so that they can harvest your spleen. Clearly, they underestimate the ego of most doctors if they think a doctor will do anything that jeopardizes their batting average with patients.
But then today I got a letter from the New York State Organ and Tissue Donor Registry, a division of the Department of Health, and they went on to extensively thank me with a two page letter outlining exactly how thankful they are for me to have chosen to be an organ donor. And suddenly I'm creeped out. I mean, I'm glad they appreciate the gesture, but seeming so damn enthusiastic and eager about it has me a little bit nervous.
It seems that organ donation promotion, like being a funeral director or a vendor of anti-virus software, is one of those jobs that it's fine to have, just as long as it doesn't seem like you're excited about having the job. So, with due respect to the Commissioner of Health, whose xeroxed signature appears at the bottom of this letter, I suggest we apply the same rule to the position that I think should be enforced for police officers and presidential candidates: Anybody who wants the job is immediately disqualified.