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Posted: 02.03.2003
We were born, born to be wild
I found this on FARK and thought it would make for interesting debate. New Mexico state Senator Allen Hurt has introduced Senate Bill 239. It specifically states that:

A person operating a motorcycle without a helmet and who, as the result of an accident, is pronounced brain dead pursuant to Section 12-2-4 NMSA 1978 by a licensed physician shall become an organ donor regardless of whether the person made an anatomical gift by completing the organ donor statement…
I have a very big problem with this. Although I am personally for organ donation, I am quite against forced organ donation. I think the choice is very personal and private -- and the reasons for and against are plenty. Some religious. Some not.

Sean Maher, the director of the American Motorcyclist Association's state affairs has issued this public statement:

Organ donation is a noble cause that truly can represent the gift of life for people faced with some terminal illnesses. But making the commitment to become an organ donor must remain a private decision left to each person. Classifying an entire group of citizens as nothing more than organs to be harvested isn't just demeaning to motorcyclists, it's offensive to all Americans.
In my own case, I've amended my organ donation card to everything but my eyes and skin. I can't even rationally answer why -- but the thought of donating those two items really bothers me. And I'm allowed that choice. It's my body. If we're going to start taking rights away in this country based on disobeying traffic laws and/or stupidity.....

So how do you feel? Does this seem like a good law to you?

Hey boy take a look at me...let me dirty up your mind...

Seems like a good law in theory. Unfortunately, I think its' point is obscured by controversy. Perhaps he thinks
that more people will wear helmets if they know they have no choice in the matter when they don't wear them.
I'd be surprised to see this bill pass... seems a bit too unconstitutional or something.

¤ ¤ credit: geena | 02.03.03 at 02:26 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

I don't think this law will pass, it infringes on peoples rights as human beings. I myself am an organ donor. They can take whatever they want if it's still any good by the time I die...lol

¤ ¤ credit: kat | 02.03.03 at 02:30 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Yeah, I'm afraid they'll find my heart just a little too bitter for them. *snicker*

¤ ¤ credit: robyn | 02.03.03 at 02:34 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Okay, I don't get the point. What's the point again? Is this supposed to encourage cyclists to wear their helmets? Or is this somehow to scientifically figure out why those who didn't wear their helmets chose that route...maybe it's a brain chemical imbalance! Whatever.

For lack of a better word...it's stupid. I am getting so sick of the "government" coming up with more and more laws to tell us what we're going to do with our lives and our free will. If I CHOOSE not to donate my brain, well dammit, that's my CHOICE! This is like saying we cannot resucitate (spelling, sorry) people who made a statement beforehand that they did not want to be revived in the event they lose all vital signs and slip away into death WILL be revitalized/resucitated if they didn't wear a helmet. Screw their wishes. They didn't wear a helmet. So let's rescucitate them, against their choice, to keep them alive forever in coma-world, to punish their families and show the world what happens when you don't wear a helmet. You're a martyr.

Similarly, in Florida now, a law just passed (I'm sure you know this well, Robyn) that there will be no more smoking in public establishments. No smoking. Restaurants, places of work...no where. Except free-standing bars. I'm not a smoker. But this pisses me off to no end. The government has NO RIGHT to tell me when and where I cannot put a little cancer-stick up to my lips and inhale. Next they'll be telling us what to think, which is kind of what they are doing already, albeit more subtely. If a restaurant is a smoking establishment and I don't like it, I won't eat there. It's absurd. All of it.

And, dammit, if I want my BRAINS to follow my body into the ground and not be picked apart by scientists and their little tweezers in a lab somewhere, then I would like to know that my wishes will be upheld. Give. me. a. break. Land of the Free? Not for long.

End Rant. :)

¤ ¤ credit: Trinity | 02.03.03 at 02:37 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

No, absolutely not a good law. It's absurd, and highly offensive. If people are allowed to have the choice of whether or not to wear a helmet, then they damn sure should have the right to decide what happens to their body if they die as a result of the former choice!

¤ ¤ credit: Leigh | 02.03.03 at 02:38 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Basically, the law is, "you died stupidly, you dumb shit, so pay for it." Or did I miss something?

I can't believe someone would try to legislate "dumb shit" laws . . .

¤ ¤ credit: Scott | 02.03.03 at 02:40 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

I think the law has good intentions, but is very lame-why would anyone in their right mind think that this would pass? Oh and in regards to the no smoking thing, Trinity? It is the coolest thing ever. Here, in California, they passed that law awhile back-and it is VERY nice. The smokers here haven't complained TOO much. And while I agree that you should be able to abuse your body as you see fit, when you are in an enclosed space- the smoker is not only affecting him/herself, but those around them.

¤ ¤ credit: lucky kitty | 02.03.03 at 02:52 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

No matter how restricting that law is, it won't get passed unless they can cloak it in the guise of national security ... seems like ANYTHING can be passed with that as the pretense.

¤ ¤ credit: tj | 02.03.03 at 02:55 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Wow..wtf? Wills and I regularly ride. Granted, we wear helmets, but still!

You can still die in a motorcycle wreck even if you have a helmet on. You know what gets me?

You DO NOT, by law, have to wear a motorcycle helmet in this state. Yet, by law, one must wear a seatbelt. Where is the logic in that? I personally think it is stupid to go without a helmet. All you have to do is look at how people drive around here. That outta be reason enough, nevermind the bug-factor. ewww.

As for the smoking ban..I can understand why it bothers non smokers. I can wait, I can go outside. It is no bother to me. What does bother me is the government taking away the individual rights of the business owners. I agree with Trinity..what is next? Before you know it, we won't be able to smoke in our own homes. It is getting rediculous....

¤ ¤ credit: Jen | 02.03.03 at 02:59 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Everytime I see some numbnut run a stop light, blow off a stop sign or feel the need to drive 85 on a highway marked 65...I think of organ donation and the seriousness of the situation regarding a lack of donors. I hate to appear/sound morbib with my comment, but it's because of drivers who feel the need to compromise their lives and others that we need donations...well, not completely, but stupidity and ignorance while driving leads to a fair amount of the need.

¤ ¤ credit: btezra | 02.03.03 at 03:02 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Ri-freakin-diculous. Glad I spotted this here. We had some discussion and debate on our blog this morning about mandatory seatbelts and motorcycle helmets. I think I'll toss this into the mix.

¤ ¤ credit: dave | 02.03.03 at 03:15 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Silly law. Probably just an attempt to cause news coverage and bring some attention to helmet laws. This kind of law would never cause more people to wear helmets because they already don't expect to die or don't care, hence the reason they don't wear helmets in the first place. Besides that, the average person doesn't pay attention to when new laws like this are passed, so who will know?

I'm an organ donor. I'd even be fine if my entire body was used for medical education because I'm not using it anymore so why should anything go to waste when it could help someone else learn, live, breathe, see, etc. It could be the most important thing I do in my life, even if it's after I'm gone. I wish it were an automatic thing for everyone to donate but I understand some people have issues due to religious beliefs or paranoia (they'll kill me to get my organs).

¤ ¤ credit: Lauri | 02.03.03 at 03:18 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

It's a dumb law, but it's amusing that someone took the old ER docs/cops/EMS/media joke and decided to make a bill out of it. I'm vaguely surprised they didn't include people without seatbelts, kids that aren't in car seats, and people who ride in the back of pickups.

¤ ¤ credit: Zippy | 02.03.03 at 03:22 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

There are certain sections of the population that are allowed to be discriminated against today;
white european males
motorcyle riders
While I only fall into the first category, I can see how the other two are allowed to be put down, pushed around and denied rights, like blacks were until the 60's.
I hate that my dad, my mom and my boss smoke, but good lord, if we told, for instance, drinkers, where and when they can inbibe, it would be chaos (for you young'uns, look up Prohibition.)
I wear a seatbelt, but I hate that the gov't is allowed to ticket me if I don't. Anything that puts only me at risk should be my decision.

¤ ¤ credit: Lunchbox | 02.03.03 at 03:25 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Jen, it's worse than seatbelt vs. helmet. In most cities it's a law that you must wear a helmet to ride a bicycle...the city of Largo makes a ton of money off bicycle tickets each year.
If it's ever challenged, I don't think the law will pass the civil rights test. The only reason the seatbelt law passes the test is because driving is not considered a right, but a privilege and as such it is subject to whatever conditions and stipulations the state sees fit. Not meeting those conditions is punishable. This is probably where NM thinks they can get away with this law. But no matter how horrid the crime, they still can't take body parts from you. Hell, we can't even get chemical castration for child molesters past the Supreme Court yet. Taking organs for not wearing a helmet? Yeah right.

¤ ¤ credit: a different Bill | 02.03.03 at 03:31 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

There are actually a lot of places you cant drink, Lunchbox.

Also, there are no alleged health risks posed by secondhand beer fumes.

¤ ¤ credit: dave | 02.03.03 at 03:33 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Since I did my senior capstone thesis on the Misssissippi Freedom Summers and the lynching of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner -- I'm not sure I'd be so flippant about equating the civil rights violations endured back then even remotely close to the plight of white European males, smokers, or motorcycle riders today...but I digress.

¤ ¤ credit: robyn | 02.03.03 at 03:43 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Even if this law doesn't get passed (which it probably won't), they had great timing in proposing it. I'm sure that stupid motorcycle movie Biker Boyz will encourage all kinds of idiots to attempt stunts on their motorcycles without helmets. Maybe just the thought of the law will scare them into being smart - though personally I don't find the threat of donating my organs scary.

¤ ¤ credit: theresa | 02.03.03 at 04:33 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

I expressed myself poorly, I never meant that things are as bad now as they were for blacks in the past, just that there are groups that are allowed to be discriminated against, legally. Dave, as for drinking, no place has passed a universal 'no drinking in restaurants' law, and I would venture that more people have been killed by drunks than by second-hand cigarette smoke. Probably more have been killed by second-hand car and bus fumes, as well.
I apologize for my flippancy, I had a Denis Leary-like upbringing.
Right now I'm trying to get the idea of second-hand beer fumes out of my head. (yech)

¤ ¤ credit: Lunchbox | 02.03.03 at 05:00 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Is your body your own once you're dead? Here in the UK it technically belongs to your next of kin and they can override your wishes, although it doesn't often happen.

¤ ¤ credit: Shelagh | 02.03.03 at 05:09 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

If anyone knows where to find second-hand beer fumes, please point me in that direction. Can't stand the taste of the stuff...but wouldn't mind the contact-high... ;-)

¤ ¤ credit: robyn | 02.03.03 at 05:11 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

I don't know if it's a *good law*. It's an interesting idea; you can wear a helmet and still become brain dead in a motorcycle accident, and I hardly see it as an incentive to wear a helmet -- I don't know one rider in my group of riders who would be induced to putting on a helmet because of the threat that once they were dead they would then become an organ donor whether they wanted too or not. Nevertheless, it hardly seems the place of the government to demand that you become an organ donor. It would be better for this senator and Sean Maher to partner up in New Mexico to encourage motorcyclists to sign up to be organ donors. It wouldn't take much at a rally.

¤ ¤ credit: Zuly | 02.03.03 at 05:13 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

dumbest law ever. i'm just glad it's not my taxes the clown is spending trying to create legislation which wouldn't stand up in court.

¤ ¤ credit: SpunkyTheMonkey | 02.03.03 at 05:47 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

I think the helmet & seatbelt laws stem from trying to protect us from ourselves. And protect our insurance companies from paying out so much when accidents do happen. I think they are the ones that lobby for a lot of these types of laws. I could be wrong, though.

I remember when seatbelts weren't law. I hate, hate, hate wearing them. It's constricting. It's not about the wrinkling of the clothes. I don't iron anyway.

It's choice, dammit. And our ability to choose what's right for us is being legislated away...


¤ ¤ credit: Cyberangel | 02.03.03 at 05:51 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Stupid stupid law. People should have the right to choose what happens to their body after death, regardless. Period. I personally am not donating anything. Reason being, there's a good chance there's still a little bacterial infection running around some of my organs and if someone were to get one, they may get mighty sick and never find out what's causing it. I'd hate for that choice to be taken away from me and be the cause of years of illness or even death for a transplant victim when they could have received a completely healthy organ.

¤ ¤ credit: Jessica Parker | 02.03.03 at 06:10 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

You are right. A law that implies that some people are going to be denied certain rights – the right to decide how to deal with your body – is paternalistic, absolutist and disrespectful. To say nothing about the problems that would arise were this law to conflict with religious practices. Seems unconstitutional.
This proposal is stupid, but also dangerous: Extend the law to include whatever risky behavior the legislator sees fit: Skydivers, users, SUV drivers, compact car drivers, hunters. And then expand the list of rights to be denied: Counsel to offenders, medical attention, right to a fair trial.
Unless, of course, it is a matter of National Security.

¤ ¤ credit: Camilo | 02.03.03 at 07:02 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

rob, you sure you want second-hand beer fumes? cuz as far as i know, they're commonly called "beer farts". and them's some serious fumes!

it's a stupid law. wouldn't surprise me if the guy's pushing for it only because he's setting up some kind of "life is beautiful" foundation for the next election...

¤ ¤ credit: mikey | 02.03.03 at 07:29 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Shelagh, I don't think I saw anybody else respond, so I will, if I'm duplicating, sorry. In the USA, most states allow you to designate on your driver's license whether or not you want to be an organ donor. Currently, however, even if you say Yes to being an organ donor, your next of kin can deny that after you die or are pronounced brain-dead. I believe there currently IS a bill that will not allow family members to override your wishes if you have designated that you want to be an organ donor, but I don't remember if it's a state initiative that I've read about locally, or if it's a federal initiative. (Sorry, too lazy to go look)

And yes, I think it's a dumbass law. I think riding a cycle without a helmet is pretty stupid, my daughter isn't even allowed to ride her BIKE without a helmet, and let's face it, she rarely goes over 2 miles an hour, the chicken. But to FORCE the family to allow a loved ones body to be used for organ donation, if the person did not want it is WRONG.

And don't some religions have something against the body being messed with after death? Even to the point of not allowing autopsies or something like that?

¤ ¤ credit: Tracy | 02.03.03 at 07:39 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

dammit, mikey, you stole my fart joke.

you know, that's not the first time that's happened. someone needs to coin a new term for when you see something in a comment you want to respond to, but as you scroll down, you discover someone has beat you to it.

¤ ¤ credit: dave | 02.03.03 at 07:45 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Oh dear.....so not going near the fart jokes (literally and figuratively)!

¤ ¤ credit: robyn | 02.03.03 at 07:49 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

I suspect the NM proposed law is sponsored by an organ-donation advocate. Or (how's this for cynical?) a medical organization/tissue bank that will profit. In any case, it will not see the light of day.

As for the smoking ban in Florida, pleae keep in mind that this was not passed by the state legislature. This was a constitutional amendment passed by 70% of the voters of this great state. I believe it should be up to the proprietor of the business, not his customers. They may vote individually by not spending their dollars there.

¤ ¤ credit: Jody | 02.03.03 at 11:12 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Personally, I am entirely in favour of an opt-out process for organ doning, as proposed by the British Medical Association. The presumption will be that you will donate, unless you have opted out. No room for relatives over-riding that. Doesn't take away your choice.

¤ ¤ credit: Gert | 02.04.03 at 03:37 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

Actually, I wasn't so much thinking of "beer farts" (sorry, Robyn), I was thinking of the fumes from second-hand beer (I'm sure you dig).

¤ ¤ credit: Lunchbox | 02.04.03 at 12:41 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

It IS a dumb law. The fact that it is a dumb law doesn't really bother me as much as the idea that the government is chipping away at our individual freedom. Yes, freedom. I do not own a motorcycle but who does the government think they are telling ANYONE they MUST be an organ donor if they die as a motorcycle driver? What about the religious beliefs of the deceased? What about the will of the deceased? I am not a smoker, but who does the government think they are telling ANYONE where and when they can do something that's LEGAL?

The bad part is that we vote for and monetarily support via taxes the people who think this legislation is very important. I read somewhere that there are more words in all the government regulations on cabbage than in the entire Bible. (And the writers of the Bible didn't get paid near as much as the cabbage law writers!)

¤ ¤ credit: BillH | 02.05.03 at 12:54 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

I agree with you totally, Bill. Even about the cabbage.

¤ ¤ credit: Trinity | 02.05.03 at 03:00 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

I'm a smoker, an organ doner, my father rides motorcycles...geez, so many personal issues to address...

I really think it is a stupid law, despite my belief that anyone who would choose NOT to help others with the donation of organs that the dead person will never again use or need, is really selfish and lame.

I do have something to say to everyone out there who has the "who does the government think they are telling ANYONE where and when they can do something that's LEGAL?" problem. I was raised in an extremely liberal family and I have extremely liberal beliefs, but I also believe that there MUST be laws about when and where people may do things, even if they are legal. You are not allowed to drink in public, you are not allowed to smoke legal medical marijuana in public, you are not allowed to be naked in public (except in unique circumstances), despite the fact that it is legal to drink, legal to smoke medical marijuana in many states and it is perfectly legal to be naked. But it must be decided WHERE these things are appropriate. Many LEGAL things are not to be done everywhere. As a smoker who lives in NY I am not looking forward to our rapidly approaching non-smoking ban, but the truth is that smoking is fucking disgusting and it, in itself, should be illegal as it kills about 440,000 people per year, more than drunk driving accidents (17,448 per year).
And LUNCHBOX: IN WHAT WAY are european males discriminated against? PUUUUHLEEAZE! Maybe we should start a new thread for that one! I am still laughing!!!

¤ ¤ credit: Maria | 02.05.03 at 04:24 PM | link--this ¤ ¤


**someone needs to coin a new term for when you see something in a comment you want to respond to, but as you scroll down, you discover someone has beat you to it.**

It's called "scroller's envy."


¤ ¤ credit: InTheDark | 02.06.03 at 02:47 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

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