Organ Donation, Unwinding and the Black Market

Organ donation is becoming more and more of an issue. It should have been a huge issue ages ago.

Nazirah wrote a great post about it here. I recently read Unwind by Neal Shusterman. You need to read it. It is a warped and really freaky story. The fictional concept of unwinding is the process of donating an entire live child for organ harvesting, because by the law’s weird rationale, the child is not killed as it “lives on”.

And here’s how it starts:

“If more people had been organ donors, unwinding never would have happened.”

South Africa had an organ scandal a few years ago. And when I went to China last year, people warned me about the black market there.

Disclaimer: I’m not an organ donor. Yet. I want to be. I think voluntary organ donation is a truly wonderful thing. If my dad could see by receiving donor corneas (he can’t, it’s a retinal problem) I would want him to do it. If my mom’s pain could be cured by a donor organ, I would tell her to go for it. But for me it’s a biggish decision that doesn’t just involve me. One I believe I’ll make, soon.

This picture on pinterest inspired me to write this post. It’s a little morbid, but it’s educational and wonderful.

Are you an organ donor? Why or why not? Do you believe the matter is being under- or overplayed?


  1. This is so fascinating! To be honest, I live in the UK and I definitely think there should be an ‘opt out’ or organ donation rather than ‘opt in’. Then the people who feel strongly about it could still refuse but the majority would be donors. After your dead your body is completely useless and worm food so you should definitely donate it to help others. And stealing bodies doesn’t seem very common if there’s only been 1700 missing in 25 years! x

    1. “useless and worm-food” oh that made me squirm, but it’s true. I also think that the opt-out system would make it feel more “normal” to skeptical individuals.

  2. TrishaDM says:

    I agree with pocket full of books that organ donation could and maybe should be an opt out instead of an opt in. I think it would save many families some undue pressure at the end of life…maybe. I do have a signed organ donor card, but I know I am one in a minority here because death and organ donation are just not talked about. I do think it is great and that if we did it more in the legal ways, perhaps the black market would be less lucrative… I don’t really know, though because there isn’t much of a black market with our public health system.

    1. I guess it’s not particularly fun to be approached about organ donation… I know I don’t enjoy thinking about death any more than is necessary.
      Really? Does Canada have a secret we don’t have? I’d love to hear more about that last bit 🙂

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