Caught in the Organ Draft
"Has been a lifesaver so many times!"
- Catherine Rampell, student @ University of Washington
"Exactly the help I needed."
- Jennifer Hawes, student @ San Jose State
"The best place for brainstorming ideas."
- Michael Majchrowicz, student @ University of Kentucky
Caught in the Organ Draft
In Robert Silverberg\'s "Caught in the Organ Draft" he portrays a society where elders are the most important citizens whom people give the uttermost respect. The society has a labor surplus since many mechanical devices have been developed to replace men in the work force. The Organ Draft is a program in which young adults\' ages twenty- one or younger donate their organs. Citizens donate only paired organs such as lungs and kidneys. The government also had program for voluntary donations of unpaired organs. People would voluntarily give up their livesfor this program. All citizens of this society receive a transplant status. Their status is assigned according to their occupation and importance in the society. The highest people were usually political figures, professors, lawyers, and judges. The story opens as a nineteen year old boy gets a call for a physical to determine if he\'s an eligible donor. As he imagined he was in perfect condition and expected an organ call soon. His father was a respected citizen who knew few facts about the organ draft. The boy realized the effects the organ draft could have on his life and thought about appealing his call when it came. His father told him to be reasonable and reminded him of the advantages of being a donor. He would have the highest transplant status in case he was in ever in need of a transplant. He would be exempt from military service and would have a $750 tax deduction every year. When he got a letter at last they wanted one of his kidneys. He was afraid at first but then he finally grasped the idea of the draft. He would be proud of his perfect 6-A status and planned to reign forever in society.
Silverberg showed a society that revolved around its elders. These elders received all power in society. The younger generation was nothing but a "ready stockpile of healthy organs, waiting to serve their needs." In this society your status was the only thing the government cared about a person. Only elders with the highest importance would receive the transplant status of a 6-A. Silverberg shows the drawbacks of the draft when he tells that the birthrate in the society was declining but the need for donors was infinite. The need for organs keeps increasing but the number of young adults keeps decreasing the government will have to find another way to get fresh kidneys and lungs. They could lower the age limit from eighteen to sixteen, but when the number of teenage donors decreases, where are they going to go for donors? Silverberg also shows that the boy would have a 6-A status, the highest possible status, but many other people were donating organs and, getting the same transplant status. He would be back to where he started and would have to work to get to the top like everyone else. Silverberg also indicates that the boy would receive "Preferred Recipient" status, meaning that if he ever fell ill and needed a transplant he would be one of the first to receive one. Yet if thousands of donors with this status were in line for a lung, who would get to go first? Silverberg states that many of the donors will give one of their lungs but in their lifetime they may use five. The pool of eligible draftees would be drained by then and many elders will have to die. Silverberg said "Our brave new societies, where all share equally in the triumphs of medicine, and the deserving senior citizens need not feel that their merits and prestige will be rewarded by only a cold grave." The senior citizens of their society no longer felt threatened by death and looked forward to the future. Full responsibility shouldn\'t have been given completely to the elderly. It takes all generations to have a successful society.
View Full Essay
Organ donation, Medical ethics, Organ transplantation, Organ trade, Immunology
More Free Essays Like This