Politics cannot push people even further into their guts. With the vote on organ donation this Thursday, the Bundestag could show a new way of dealing with the sensitive issue.

Instead of expressing your own will, for example by means of ID, a so-called contradiction solution sets a state requirement as priority: everyone who is over 16 years of age is listed in the register as a donor – unless you give an express no to the record.

Many find it unreasonable, which is why the consent solution offers a second option. Citizens should be recruited and recruited to give their consent in principle.

A third proposal, presented by the AfD as a solution of trust, expresses above all distrust in existing practices, which is why it is considered to have no chance. All three variants have in common that they will not transform the Federal Republic into a country of organ donation.

It is also known from nations with the contradiction rule that the gap between demand and supply can be maintained. Patients are constantly dying everywhere, sometimes waiting in vain for years. It is a tragedy that needs to be mitigated even more than sovereign acts.

Coercion, not invitation

Perhaps that is precisely why the right path lies in finding a contradiction. It does not advertise, it compels – to deal with the inevitable. And it’s not just your own death that is inevitable. But also to live with others. No one can exist alone.

We are all dependent on each other. The readiness to donate organs, which is then prescribed, does not mark anything other than that this insight can also have practical consequences beyond one’s own neighbor.

What is so bad about it when a community is committed to such a maxim? Germany is known for fundamentalizing political questions, which can be helpful for deliberate action. But less here.

The metaphor of a “radical cure” for a sensitive part of the healthcare system is as out of place as the effort to flagellate the contradiction as an ethically objectionable restriction on autonomy.

In fact, the interference with free will is less than it is done. Everyone is entitled to decide against approval at any time. And those who ignored this during their lifetime or failed to do so for other reasons only hit it in death.

Health Minister Spahn has shown courage

It should also not be forgotten that the relatives continue to be involved and therefore there is a “double” backup – so much does not change compared to previous practice.
It is likely to be the model that can survive better in the future.

It creates the conditions for being a reliable partner in the international reporting and distribution system. German patients are likely to have already benefited from the fact that in countries with an option to object, someone has decided to forego it or simply have forgotten it.

It is also not a bad sign if the Federal Republic, which is treated with respect and suspicion in Europe, is taking a step forward here that demands something from its own citizens.

Health Minister Jens Spahn, who is so anxious about dealing with euthanasia, showed courage here when he spoke out early on.

It was less courageous, but tactically wise, not to hold the discussion in the government, but to leave it to the parliament alone.

A defeat would not be his, but the conscience decision of the deputies for the alternative. Incidentally, this is also not a bad one. But it is a convenient one. One that takes nothing from you, that costs you a little, that doesn’t hurt anyone. And which probably also brings little.


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