The Concept of Clone Organ Donation
The word “donation,” (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/donation) defined by the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, literally means “the making of a gift especially to a charity or public institution; a free contribution.” When people donate their organs, a certain degree of consent is usually involved. Donors choose to give their organs to family members, choose to become an “organ donor” on their driver’s license, and choose which organs they want to donate and when. The main aspect of organ donation that the clones in Never Let Me Go and “The Island” are missing is their ability to choose – to have a voice in what they do with their own bodies. An organ donation is and should be a gift given by the person whose body the organ comes from. However, themes in both the novel and the movie raise the issue of physically taking organs from humans who do not consent to donation.
In class, we discussed the possibility of taking an organ from a clone. I would like to think that I would never choose my life above someone else’s, even a clone’s. However, it is a very hard decision to make when faced with a life-or-death scenario. I would like to say that I would try to take the “high road,” and if my life were in jeopardy that I would accept the consequences and refuse to take from my clone if my clone was a functioning human being who did not want to donate. However, is this how I would feel in the actual situation of facing my death? Maybe not.
What if a family member or friend needed their clone’s organs to survive? What would my opinion be then? Immediately I think that I would make them take the organ – obviously I would want my friend or family member to live. I would tell them that they had a right to a replacement organ. While this situation may seem less selfish than taking my own clone’s organs, it is still just as selfish. Given the choice between a person and their clone, I would want my friend or family member to live because of my special relationship to them.
Although the clone-donor situation is not yet a reality, Never Let Me Go and “The Island” explore the important concept of organ donation. Why don’t more people do it? Why do some feel uncomfortable with it? Maybe it is the concept that we discussed in class of other people “taking” a part of your body that disturbs some. Is it religion that leads others to reject it? Or does it just scare people, making them fear that if they give an organ it will disrupt their own lives? Whatever the reason, people view the concept of organ donation differently. Further advancements in science will enable people to have successful cloned-organ transplants, and hopefully we will never have to face the reality of the hypothetical that Never Let Me Go and “The Island” present to us.