Skip to comments.Cass Sunstein Advocates for Removal of People's Organs Without Explicit Consent
Posted on 09/04/2009 11:50:05 AM PDT by NetRight Nation
For the last couple of weeks we have been blasting Cass Sunstein on this blog. Many of you have also picked up the sword and begun fighting this Obama appointment as well.
Now, we need to really stand up. The Senate will be coming back into session next week and Harry Reid has already mentioned that he wants to make confirming Sunstein one of his first priorities. We CANNOT let this happen.
Check out this story today on Sunstein from Matt Cover at CNS News. If this doesn't make you pick up a phone and call your Senator, I don't know what will. We need to be blasting this information to all corners of the internet.
PLEASE WRITE TO YOUR SENATOR NOW TO STOP CASS SUNSTEIN. http://www.capwiz.com/libertyleaders/issues/alert/?alertid=13971556&type=ML
Here is the story from Mr. Cover at CNS News titled OBAMA REGULATION CZAR ADVOCATED REMOVING PEOPLE'S ORGANS WITHOUT EXPLICIT CONSENT:
Cass Sunstein, President Barack Obamas nominee to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), has advocated a policy under which the government would presume someone has consented to having his or her organs removed for transplantation into someone else when they die unless that person has explicitly indicated that his or her organs should not be taken.
Under such a policy, hospitals would harvest organs from people who never gave permission for this to be done.
Outlined in the 2008 book Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness, Sunstein and co-author Richard H. Thaler argued that the main reason that more people do not donate their organs is because they are required to choose donation.
Sunstein and Thaler pointed out that doctors often must ask the deceaseds family members whether or not their dead relative would have wanted to donate his organs. These family members usually err on the side of caution and refuse to donate their loved ones organs. The major obstacle to increasing [organ] donations is the need to get the consent of surviving family members, said Sunstein and Thaler.
This problem could be remedied if governments changed the laws for organ donation, they said. Currently, unless a patient has explicitly chosen to be an organ donor, either on his drivers license or with a donor card, the doctors assume that the person did not want to donate and therefore do not harvest his organs. Thaler and Sunstein called this explicit consent.
They argued that this could be remedied if government turned the law around and assumed that, unless people explicitly choose not to, then they want to donate their organs a doctrine they call presumed consent.
Presumed consent preserves freedom of choice, but it is different from explicit consent because it shifts the default rule. Under this policy, all citizens would be presumed to be consenting donors, but they would have the opportunity to register their unwillingness to donate, they explained.
The difference between explicit and presumed consent is that under presumed consent, many more people choose to be organ donors. Sunstein and Thaler noted that in a 2003 study only 42 percent of people actively chose to be organ donors, while only 18 percent actively opted out when their consent was presumed.
In cases where the deceaseds wishes are unclear, Sunstein and Thaler argued that a presumed consent system would make it easier for doctors to convince families to donate their loved ones organs.
Citing a 2006 study, Thaler and Sunstein wrote: The next of kin can be approached quite differently when the decedents silence is presumed to indicate a decision to donate rather than when it is presumed to indicate a decision not to donate. This shift may make it easier for the family to accept organ donation.
The problem of the deceaseds family is only one issue, Sunstein and Thaler said, admitting that turning the idea of choice on its head will invariably run into major political problems, but these are problems they say the government can solve through a system of mandated choice.
Another [problem] is that it is a hard sell politically, wrote Sunstein and Thaler. More than a few people object to the idea of presuming anything when it comes to such a sensitive matter. For these reasons we think that the best choice architecture for organ donations is mandated choice.
Mandated choice is a process where government forces you to make a decision in this case, whether to opt out of being an organ donor to get something you need, such as a drivers license.
With mandated choice, renewal of your drivers license would be accompanied by a requirement that you check a box stating your organ donation preferences, the authors stated. Your application would not be accepted unless you had checked one of the boxes.
To ensure that peoples decisions align with the government policy of more organ donors, Sunstein and Thaler counseled that governments should follow the state of Illinois example and try to influence people by making organ donation seem popular.
First, the state stresses the importance of the overall problem (97,000 people [in Illinois] on the waiting list and then brings the problem home, literally (4,700 in Illinois), they wrote.
Second, social norms are directly brought into play in a way that build on the power of social influences [peer pressure]: 87 percent of adults in Illinois feel that registering as an organ donor is the right thing to do and 60 percent of adults in Illinois are registered, they added.
Sunstein and Thaler reminded policymakers that people will generally do what they think others are doing and what they believe others think is right. These presumptions, which almost everyone has, act as powerful factors as policymakers seek to design choices.
Recall that people like to do what most people think is right to do; recall too that people like to do what most people actually do, they wrote. The state is enlisting existing norms in the direction of lifestyle choices.
Thaler and Sunstein believed that this and other policies are necessary because people dont really make the best decisions.
The false assumption is that almost all people, almost all of the time, make choices that are in their best interest or at the very least are better than the choices that would be made [for them] by someone else, they said.
This means that government incentives and nudges should replace requirements and bans, they argued.
Neither Sunstein nor Thaler currently are commenting on their book, a spokesman for the publisher, Penguin Group, told CNSNews.com.
In a question-and-answer section on the Amazon.com Web site, Thaler and Sunstein answered a few questions about their book.
When asked what the title Nudge means and why people need to be nudged, the authors stated: By a nudge we mean anything that influences our choices. A school cafeteria might try to nudge kids toward good diets by putting the healthiest foods at front.
We think that it's time for institutions, including government, to become much more user-friendly by enlisting the science of choice to make life easier for people and by gently nudging them in directions that will make their lives better, they wrote.
The human brain is amazing, but it evolved for specific purposes, such as avoiding predators and finding food, said Thaler and Sunstein. Those purposes do not include choosing good credit card plans, reducing harmful pollution, avoiding fatty foods, and planning for a decade or so from now. Fortunately, a few nudges can help a lot.
Ugh - pet peeve of mine:
If someone is appointed to a statutorily created position and subject to confirmation by the senate they are not a “czar”. They are accountable to the congress and have specific authority and responsibility.
That said - she sounds like a loon and should be resisted.
All your organs are belong to us.
I immediately thought of Monty Python’s organ donor scene from “The Meaning of Life”
He’ll take my organs over my dead body...
‘REMOVING PEOPLE’S ORGANS WITHOUT EXPLICIT CONSENT’
That sounds about right. Since, your not free to sell your body parts, why would you also have the idea that they are yours?
You are correct. The position however, was dubbed the “Regulatory Czar” by many inside the White House.
Good! Let’s start with him now.........
I just think the over-use of the term is diluting the discussion. We can and should be concerned about this WH, or any other for that matter, over-stepping their constitutional boundaries.
When we start using the same terms to describe the un-confirmed special advisers with policy portfolios (unconstitutional and illegal) as the people who face senate scrutiny (however thin) and confirmation the issue becomes confused and the heart of the argument is lost. We either need to clean up the discussion or we need to come up with a better name for these unconfirmed advisers and change the conversation altogether.
Here's how President Obama's pick to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and author of "Repulblic.com," Cass Sunstein, describes FreeRepublic.com as "group polarization," where people segregate themselves so effectively online with other like-minded thinkers that they create an echo chamber where the group's worst and most malevolent opinions get reinforced and strengthened.
I have read about this happening elsewhere on the globe. The problem is, the attempts to save the life of a person who is dying diminish, because the organs are needed as soon as possible for someone else.
I have a problem with a medical professional not doing everything in his power to save a person’s life...
The movie “coma” comes to mind...
I might have to have an organ removed so that they can shut the lid on the casket.
Absolutely right. I can't use the "More Czars than the Romanovs" until I have time to go through the list of alleged czars and verify which ones actually ARE unconfirmed. I expect to have that much free time right after the 2010 election.
Talk about costly! To “harvest” organs from a donor, the organs do indeed have to be “alive”. In order to keep them that way the dying individual has to be placed on life support machines. Currently, the person has been declared “brain dead” in order to do this. After the person is on the machine, a team of “harvesters” are called in and the person is taken to surgery where all of the necessary and usuable organs are removed. I am a nurse. The first time I was involved in this I found it to be rather frankensteinish...and it just upset me so profoundly even though I know that transplanting organs from a person who is officially declared dead or dying helps another to live, it still is just simply yukky. To think that the government would allow this type of thing and really rather mandate it is really objectionable. Who is to say that an unscrupulous doctor would not remove organs from someone living and not dying is certainly not without thought. There are plenty of people in our country who wouldn’t mind doing anything in order to gain what they want...so, why not? Does one really think that if Ted Kennedy could have been saved by a brain transplant, that a brain would not have been produced? All I have to say is...OMG!!
I did some background work on the supposed Bush era ‘czars’ in order to help clear the air - this might give you a head start.
Well stated! Yes, by all means...to save Kennedy, they would have found some unsuspecting person, who walked into an emergency room with a runny nose, & ended up going into some medically induced coma - here’s your new brain Teddy!
The thought is quite sickening!
That’s very helpful, thanks. I have a link somewhere to the list of Obama’s czars. After the March, and the Virginia election, I might have time to compare’n’contrast.
If is easy to decide who has to die to save a politically connected politician when you have the obamacare national database...
Speaking of opinions, he doesn't have any that are worthwhile ~ just another typical Leftwingtard!
I vote to remove a particular organ of his right now (if he has one).