Kristel Clayville, who refuses to donate her organs out of Social Justice, responds to criticism

Kristel Clayville is a visiting assistant professor of religion at Eureka College, a fellow at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago, as well as as an ordained minister in the Disciples of Christ branch of the Christian Church.  Yet with all of those credentials (most especially her status as an Christian pastor), she surprised me—and a lot of other people—with her article in Religion Dispatches, “Why I’m not an organ donor.

Her argument, mean-spirited for anyone, much less for a medical ethicist and a minister, was that she wasn’t going to donate any of her organs because she didn’t like the criteria used to rank people on organ-donation lists. Her claim was that, it helps to be rich and white to get an organ; so that those having “minority status” and lacking  “financial means” aren’t treated equitably, and social justice isn’t satisfied. Therefore she is taking her liver and going home. That is, she refuses to donate her organs because the system is broken.

In fact, I doubt the system is nearly as broken as she asserts. While it may be the case that rich people may be able to get on different state lists more easily, increasing their chances of getting an organ, or having a “home caregiver” (that criterion is not meant to help the wealthy, but to make recovery more likely), plenty of poor people get organs. (A surgeon from Michigan just told me that Clayville is dead wrong in her overall claim.) I see this on the news all the time, especially because I live on the south side of Chicago which is largely poor and black. (But Clayville works here, too!) But the pie chart below tells the tale.

Saying you’re not going to donate your organs because the system isn’t run according to your own liking is pure madness, for it means that people become more likely to die so you can maintain your own sense of “purity”. That is “social justice warriorism” taken to its logical but horrendous extreme. As I wrote in my critique of Clayville’s piece:

What kind of Christian is she? When she meets Jesus, will she explain, “Lord, I thought it was better to let someone die than to tolerate the injustices of organ donation”?

I wasn’t the only one to take Clayville to the woodshed for her unbelievable selfishness and narcissism. She’s now written a new response, also in Religion Dispatches, called “You gotta have heart: A response to critics of ‘Why I’m not an organ donor’.”  None of her responses to the critics are satisfactory.

First, she has to go after her prime critic, which turns out to be me. Although my criticism didn’t call her names, she claims my argument was “ad hominem”. Apparently she doesn’t know that that term means, which is that one says that an argument is wrong because of the character of its proponent,not the argument’s claims itself.

But my argument was not ad hominem. No, I criticized her contention that if the organ-donation system has inequities that she doesn’t like, she’s not going to donate her organs. That means she’s made a choice that people could die to satisfy her own notions of how the system should work. It may not work perfectly, but by no means are white people and those with means invariably put atop the list, and so such a decision is a very bad one, possibly leading to people dying because of her ideology, which will die with her. That is an argument based on the irrationality of putting one’s moral purity above the lives of other people. My counter-argument is based on the decrease in well-being that would occur if people followed Clayville’s logic.

As far as ad hominems are concerned, get a look at this quote from her new piece. Her argument against what I said above is that I am simply not qualified to judge what she said because I am religiously ignorant. And yet her original argument had nothing to do with religion!:

Recently, I made a lot of people angry with my piece, “Why I’m not an Organ Donor,” with comments generally falling into two broad categories: ad hominem attacks and sincere questions about my position. Of the former, biologist/blogger Jerry Coyne’s stand out, both because of his platform and because they were so over the top. I’m not sure why any religion scholar would take JC  [“JC”? Don’t I even get the dignity of being called “Coyne”?] seriously. He knows nothing theoretical or practical about religion, yet he continues to write about it, masking his lack of knowledge with unprofessional and unproductive ad hominem attacks.

In fact, I preferred the classic “slut” comment to JC’s shallow engagement with my piece. At least that comment made the point that any woman on the internet is vulnerable to sex shaming even when she’s saying that she doesn’t want to share her body with others. There’s no masking there, just a gut reaction, which is at least more honest than JC’s pretense at engagement.

Note how she juxtaposes my criticism with someone else’s “you’re-a-slut argument”, which I deplore. That’s just a cheap way of dismissing me by saying I’m worse than a “slut shamer.”

As for my “knowing nothing theoretical or practical about religion”, she clearly knows little of what I know. I would claim that I know more about theological argument, and the contents of the Bible, than the vast majority educated Americans, including believers. No, Dr. Clayville, you’re not getting off that easily, especially because your original argument said nothing about religion save that many pastors favor organ donation.

The remainder of the arguments in her rebuttal—if they can be called arguments—hold no water. She considers her refusal to donate organs as being like a “conscientious objector” (CO): one who refuses to join the military or fight in a war. But the simile is weak: a CO (I was one) is somebody who doesn’t want to kill people, while Clayville is making a decision that might result in somebody dying.

Clayville also claims that being a critic of the system, albeit a privileged one, entitles her to take her organs to the grave with her:

Additionally, once I’ve done the work of describing the organ economy, I feel like I have some choices about how to interact with it. If it’s an economy, then I can choose whether or not to be a customer or a product in it. That’s more privilege than a lot of people have.

True, anyone can choose to opt out of organ donation, though I don’t see how “privilege” enters into people’s desire to neither donate nor receive organs. That is of course their right. But refusing to do so because the system is less equitable than you want is a bad reason to make a decision that could lead to to someone else’s death.

And is the system really so inequitable? Here’s a chart from Organdonor.gov showing that at least 42% of transplant recipients are of minority status. Note, for instance, that African Americans constitute about 13% of the U.S. population but made up 21% of organ recipients.

In light of this, Clayville has some ‘splaining to do!

Finally, I simply don’t believe her response below; read her first article if you think she’s not concerned about moral purity:

Aren’t you just worried about your own moral purity?

No. I worry a lot about moral purity and the role it plays in our society. I think of moral purity as funding black and white thinking about ethics and making sure that you are always on the good side of that divide. I’ve presented organ transplantation and donation as entirely gray. The microscopic and telescopic stories can both be true, even at the same time. The question is which one is most compelling to you as a story that directs ethical action. For me the telescopic story is the most compelling and leads me to the ethical conclusion that I need to work to make the system better, so I do. The microscopic story has never been compelling to me, and in fact, with patients who have received transplants, that story can be a source of psychological trauma. They often feel like they’ve received a gift they can’t repay, that they were unworthy, or that the life-for-life exchange becomes overwhelming for them.

Entirely gray”? If anyone, rich, poor, black or white, is enabled to live when they could have died, that seems to me pretty black and white. Yes, the system might not be perfect, but plenty of people have expressed huge gratitude to those who donated organs that saved their lives. You see this on the news all the time. Often someone will befriend the family of someone whose death gave them a life-saving organ, or will bond with a stranger who unselfishly gave them a kidney or part of a liver. The “psychological trauma” that, says Clayville, is one reason not to participate in the system, is largely a fiction. After all, those people put themselves on a transplant list, and didn’t have to. Presumably they didn’t want to die!

Finally, although I don’t like to engage in argument in the comment section of other people’s articles, I couldn’t resist in this case. Here’s one of Clayville’s critics and her response, which I found amazingly ignorant. I had to respond to her claim about “all religious people being stupid” and my books being “good on science and lacking in religion” (I’m convinced she hasn’t read at least two of the three I’ve written.)

And my response in this thread (there is a missing “know” in the first sentence:

I’m frankly baffled that someone can actually feel as Clayville does, and clearly the organ-donation people—or the many government organizations that urge you to add to your driver’s license or will a statement that you will donate your organs if it’s appropriate—feel otherwise. The chutzpah and self-regard that would lead one to refuse donating their organs on social justice grounds is a mind-set I can’t fathom. Maybe it has something to do with Clayville’s religious views (I can’t say, as she doesn’t make a religious argument), but she’s also at odds, I suspect, with nearly every religious leader in America.

In the end, I think that Clayville’s view really does come from her faith, and is also a slap at what she calls her “progressive, liberal, overeducated, friends (PLOFs).”  That, by the way, is an ad hominem characterization, and I wonder what her friends think of that. What does her friends being “overeducated” and “progressive” have to do with her opposing their views?

And if her argument is based on religion, and I failed to grasp it because I’m religiously ignorant, then she needs to explain the role of religion, as opposed to secular ethics based on simple equity, in her stand.

Here’s a photo of the author from her Twitter feed.  All I’ll add is that I don’t think she belongs on any medical ethics team because she appears to think more about propping up her own moral purity than about saving the lives of people who could receive organ transplants.

h/t: Diane G.

92 Comments

  1. Kirbmarc
    Posted April 15, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Her problem isn’t her religion, at least not this time. Her problem is her adherence to a warped idea of identity politics based on purity tests which has hijacked social justice concerns.

    • AC Harper
      Posted April 15, 2018 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      I wonder if her objection to the ‘organ transplant system’ is really because she thinks organ transplantation is ‘icky’. Her reasons for her views are retrospective justifications.

      The test is whether or not she would opt to *receive* a transplanted organ if she needed one – survival overcoming the ‘icky’ factor.

  2. shelleywatsonburch
    Posted April 15, 2018 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Let’s think this through. If we accept her assertion that there are inequities in the system, how will fewer available organs help the problem? Her logic is backwards. She should be encouraging organ donation. She should be highlighting examples of underprivileged people denied organs in favor of rich people. She should start a campaign to appeal to others who might become organ donors to make sure everyone has access in order of medical need. But nope, let’s make a lazy, passive statement and reduce the number of available organs. Stupid.

    • glen1davidson
      Posted April 15, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Reduce organ supply, and a greater portion of the organs will go to the poor.[/Clayville logic]

      Glen Davidson

    • ploubere
      Posted April 15, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Exactly.

      • shelleywatsonburch
        Posted April 15, 2018 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

        Real activism is too much work, apparently.

        • Posted April 15, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

          To be fair to Clayville, her second article notes ways she’s trying to change the system, so she’s done more than made this passive-aggressive gesture.

    • nicky
      Posted April 15, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      I don’t like ‘stupid’, but I cannot find a flaw in your argument.

    • Sastra
      Posted April 15, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      Her stance seems similar to the refusal to tip the waitstaff because they’re underpaid. The odds of this having any positive effect down the road is swamped by the immediate practical result of just making the sad situation worse.

  3. glen1davidson
    Posted April 15, 2018 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    At least no one’s going to confuse Clayville with the “overeducated.”

    Glen Davidson

  4. Jon Gallant
    Posted April 15, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Clayville’s dismissal of JC because he is “ignorant” of the fine points of supernatural religion is PRECISELY how Terry Eagleton dismisses the anti-theism of Dawkins and Hitchens. It is also a familiar trope among apologists for Islam and Islamism.

    Turning to Clayville’s justification, she unaccountably omits a straightforward religious objection to all organ donation, whether of her organs or anyone else’s: it obviously frustrates the Will of God, like all medical treatment. In this regard, the Taliban, who periodically execute health workers engaged in vaccination campaigns, are foremost among the Faithful in their full understanding of supernatural religion.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted April 15, 2018 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      The Taliban do this because they believe that the vaccines include contraceptive drugs and/or damage fertility. They are convinced they’re a surreptitious means of preventing Muslims from procreating.

      At least the situations I know about (mostly in Africa by Al Shabaab and Boko Haram), that was the reason. The reasons for executing vaccinators may be different in other cases.

      • Posted April 15, 2018 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

        Taliban objections to vaccinations are also because a vaccination effort was used as cover by the U.S. to help track down Osama Bin Laden. So there is a deep suspicion that such programs are somehow used in espionage.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted April 15, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

          Yes, I should have mentioned that!

        • nicky
          Posted April 15, 2018 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

          And that was completely unconscionable. What sick mind thought of that? Who authorised it?
          Now untold children are dying, because of a plan (and a useless one AFAIK) to catch a criminal that was long in hiding and hardly posed a threat anymore.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted April 15, 2018 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

            CIA poisons everything…

            cr

          • Posted April 16, 2018 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

            To me, the children are dying because the Taliban are in control of their land.

    • ploubere
      Posted April 15, 2018 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      Good point. Our health care system in the U.S. is grossly unfair to the poor. By her logic, we should stop funding it at all.

      • nicky
        Posted April 15, 2018 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

        Nuff said.

  5. Diana MacPherson
    Posted April 15, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Ah the old “you can’t understand or comment on this because you’re not “ argument.

    • Mikeyc
      Posted April 15, 2018 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      It’s a version of the “No True Scotsman” fallacy. And boy is it fallacious in this case.

  6. Randall Schenck
    Posted April 15, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Never to be confused with the over educated I would ask the dumb question – If inequality or favoritism of the rich is reason to opt out of marking donor on the driver’s license, how could such a person stand to live in a country that favors the rich in nearly all things? Should not one just opt out of here? After all, that decision at least does not kill someone.

    • DrBrydon
      Posted April 15, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Yes, I’ve never understood how it is that people who condemn the US (or any country where emigration isn’t restricted) as the worst place in the History of the World can continue to reside here. What we know is that when places are actually Bad, folks will work hard to get out.

  7. Pliny the in Between
    Posted April 15, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Interesting that one so clearly ignorant about (or perhaps using the increasingly popular method of substituting lies for inconvenient facts) the topic of organ transplantation so easily falls back on the Courtier’s reply regarding religion. Or maybe it’s not that interesting.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted April 15, 2018 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Evidence again of her poor reasoning skills. Again, I wonder how someone who cannot reason without making several logical fallacies, has a seat on an ethics board.

      • Pliny the in Between
        Posted April 15, 2018 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        Seems that a more Christ-like approach to healthcare inequalities might be to go after those who are dismantling universal coverage options instead of denying some poor guy who needs a kidney. Must be my superficial understanding of theology.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted April 15, 2018 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        That’s what worries me the most about this. As one of those evil “progressive, liberal, over-educated” people (sounds like a compliment to me!) she rages against, Jerry is capable of sticking up for himself. But she on an Ethics Board, making decisions that effect the lives of real people. Her logic skills are clearly lacking. Many of us pointed out last time all the ways her logic is screwed, and now we have a whole lot of new ways to do it.

        And even before we get to her logic skills, there’s her penchant for making decisions and pronouncements without all the information, with wrong information, and by making assumptions. We all do that sometimes of course, but in an area where we have a right to expect her to be an expert, she shouldn’t be making her decisions that way.

        I’d like to see her argue her case with a person marginalised in some way who needs a transplant. How would she explain her stance when face to face with one of the people she insists she is trying to protect?

        • Sastra
          Posted April 15, 2018 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

          Excellent point.

          • nicky
            Posted April 15, 2018 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

            I’ll second that. And I’d stress the “making decisions and pronouncements without all the information, with wrong information, and by making assumptions.”
            The pie-graph in Jerry’s post nicely illustrates she is wrong.

  8. Posted April 15, 2018 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    That does it. The rich have more money than the poor, so I will not give any of my money to charity.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted April 15, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      That is good.

    • GBJames
      Posted April 15, 2018 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      Bingo.

    • Christopher
      Posted April 15, 2018 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      Regressivist logic!

  9. Historian
    Posted April 15, 2018 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Clayville is an ideological purist whose mind is divorced from the realities of life. For a society to exist in any degree of harmony, sometimes people have to make compromises regarding their beliefs. Many politicians do this. Trump is an exception, of course, since he has no beliefs except for self-aggrandizement. This can be done without jeopardizing the fundamentals of those beliefs. In particular, religious zealots fail to understand this.

    • Mikeyc
      Posted April 15, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”
      -Emerson (I think….need my coffee)

  10. Christopher
    Posted April 15, 2018 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    So, would she accept an organ donation from a wealthy, white, privileged person if she were in the hospital at death’s door? Would she accept an organ from a non-white, non-wealthy donor, even if it would mean the difference between life and death? Perhaps we need to match donors with recipients based on race and income, Would that be her preference? I don’t recall if she had said what she would do if she were in the same life and death situation that those people waiting for transplants are, but that is one very serious bit of privilege she enjoys, that of being healthy enough to be so smug about organ donations.

    I can’t help but think of a recent story, I’ve forgotten where I read it, but it was a father who sought out the person who had received his late son’s heart. He said he just wanted to hear, feel his son’s heartbeat again, as a last connection to his son. Could Clayville really turn her back on such an experience, can she really fail to see the beauty in a moment that, for the father who lost his son, for the recipient who gained life from that loss, regardless of whatever the color or the financial situation, this is the reason to be a donor.

  11. Posted April 15, 2018 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    More than this diagram from organdonor.org is not needed to expose the allegations of this woman as lies.

    I would really like to know what Clayville would say in light of this statistic, for which minorities like the african-americans are even over-represented. Probably she would simply doubt that this is correct and call it fake-news.

  12. mirandaga
    Posted April 15, 2018 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    I don’t often get to use my 10 years of Latin classes, but I believe that in this instance Clayville’s “ad hominem” should be “ad mulierem.”

    • Christopher
      Posted April 15, 2018 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      For those of us who haven’t even had 10 minutes of Latin much less 10 years, that means what, exactly? (I’m clearly not overeducated) 😬

  13. Sshort
    Posted April 15, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    She strikes me as the type who is entirely too pleased with herself, and therefore immune to rational argument or criticism.

    A type of compartmentalized thinking I see often in religious types and SJW’s. A dedication to ideological purity above all else.

    The purity they are seeking is not for the ideas, as they claim, it is an ego defense for a more infantile frame of mind.

    • Posted April 15, 2018 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      “The purity they are seeking is (…) an ego defense for a more infantile frame of mind.”
      It is exactly like that.

      The driving force is individual egoism, which gives itself the appearance of rationality, so that it can not be recognized as such.
      People with a simpler mindset reveal themselves by putting forward baseless reasons as in the case of Clayville, so they can easily be refuted.
      Smarter egoists resort to more sophisticated theories that make it less easy to expose egoism as the underlying motive.

      • Robert Bray
        Posted April 16, 2018 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        Do you distinguish ‘egoism’ from ‘egotism’? I do, because the former is not by definition a pejorative but can refer simply to one who is devoted to introspection. In this case ‘egotism’ would see to be the better description of her character.

        • Posted April 17, 2018 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

          I do not think that in the case of Clayville it matters which of the two terms one ultimately uses; What is crucial is that Clayville cites flimsy justifications and arguments in order to mask her lack of social behavior in relation to organ donation. Whether you call that egoism or egotism, I do not really care.

    • Posted April 15, 2018 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      From my readings of the New Testament, it seems to me that Jesus taught against the kind of “purity” she is promoting. When we become so enchained by seeking “purity” that we can’t help our fellow human beings in ways we obviously can and should, we are not living as Jesus is purported to have taught.

    • Christopher
      Posted April 15, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      Yes, she’s clearly 99.44% ideologically pure! Bet she floats, too!

  14. DrBrydon
    Posted April 15, 2018 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    I continue to be confused by her dismissal of her friends as “progressive, liberal and overeducated.” That sounds like something you’d hear on Fox News. I can’t see that she would think progressive and liberal were issues given her SJW stance. Maybe it’s the overeducated? Maybe they learned just enough to recognize her stance as silly?

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted April 15, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      I want to know why they’re over-educated and she isn’t.

      Are they all better educated than her, and she’s jealous?

      Does she think they’re not worthy of the level of education they have?

      At what point does educated become over-educated?

      Is she worried about the tendency for people to be more educated these days, and has noticed the strong correlation between that and less religious?

      Or is it just that she’s unable to persuade them with her arguments and they constantly come up with better counter-arguments? (Unlike her congregation.)

      • nicky
        Posted April 15, 2018 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

        “At what point does educated become over-educated?” Without going into too much detail, but roughly when your education becomes post-modernist, I’d say.
        That is education one needs like a liver transplant full of meta’s.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted April 16, 2018 at 3:23 am | Permalink

          I have just realised with horror that reading WEIT (this website) is constantly adding to my knowledge and increasing the extent of my over-education. I’m not sure what to do about it other than drink excessively and kill off a few of the offending brain cells.

          Maybe if I just stick to the posts about cute kittehs and music I can control the extent of the damage…?

          cr

  15. Brujo Feo
    Posted April 15, 2018 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Hilarious, in a ghastly way.

    My pasty-Irish-white-skinned brother, who teaches at a mostly-minority public high school, a few years ago donated one of his kidneys to a black man that he didn’t even really know. (I think that it may have been the father of one of his daughter’s friends–something like that.) I can just imagine what his reaction would be to Clayville and her mushy-headed idiocy.

    What a shit-for-brains she is.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted April 15, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      What a good man your brother is. I suppose Ms Clayville would prefer his daughter’s friend to grow up without a father, increasing the statistical likelihood of her ending up at the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum.

  16. Neil Wolfe
    Posted April 15, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Clayville has inspired me to take a look at how my own actions are reinforcing social injustice. Black and Hispanic men are twice as likely to be killed in a crosswalk so from this day forward I will ignore pedestrian right of way as a protest against the inherit racism of crosswalks.

    • Posted April 15, 2018 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      Ha! We’re way ahead of you over here.

  17. Posted April 15, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Normally, choosing to not be an organ donor would pass without comment or ridicule. I would not care if someone is not an organ donor, thinking it their business.
    But she has managed to turn a ‘meh’ into a ‘wtf?’. Not well done.

    • Posted April 15, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      She has to think herself a lot wiser than she really is. There is this saying in Latin:
      “Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses”
      If you had been silent, you would have remained philosopher.

  18. Posted April 15, 2018 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Yeah, you must be ignorant about religion, otherwise you would know the famous passage of the Bible where Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane: “But Father, if I sacrifice myself now for all of humanity, your grace and salvation would also benefit rich merchants and Pharisees, who totally don’t deserve it! You know what, screw that, I’m outta here, off to Babylon!”

  19. pck
    Posted April 15, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Her dubious reasons for refusing organ donation aside (it’s her choice of course), implying that any criticism is just maskedly calling her sexist slurs is quite disgusting. I’d simply not engage with a person like that anymore.

  20. colnago80
    Posted April 15, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    This comment is in no way, shape, form, or regard to be considered a defense of Ms. Clayville’s position but her criticism of the organ transplant system is not over the top.

    Consider the story of the liver transplant received by the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs. It appears that he gamed the system by placing his name on several state waiting lists and it is alleged that, by so doing so, he moved up in the waiting line ahead of others who were not nearly as affluent. It is further alleged that his wealth was a definite factor in this maneuver.

    • glen1davidson
      Posted April 15, 2018 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      Yes, not surprising.

      And fewer organs available means:

      a) Steve Jobs doesn’t get an organ.

      or

      b} Anonymous non-rich person doesn’t get an organ.

      Rather more likely “b” than “a”. Clayville’s logic: If the rich get more than their fair share, make sure that the poor get even less than they do now.

      Glen Davidson

    • Posted April 15, 2018 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      Yes, this is one factor why the current system is slanted to the wealthy, and it is one that is directly in favor of wealth. Another, separate factor is that organ recipients who will have a good support system, post-operatively, are also given preference since that means a better prognosis following the transplant. This also favors the wealthy, but not because they are wealthy.

    • eric
      Posted April 16, 2018 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

      I have no problem with someone pointing out the problems and inequities of this part of our medical system (or other parts). I just don’t get how her action is helpful in solving it.

      I really doubt each and every State system is in cahoots in a secret attempt to serve the rich better than the poor. It’s much more likely that State medical systems are doing as best they can to make it fair, and the skew is a result of the fact that there is no way to design a ‘fair system’ that some human can’t figure out how to game.

      She wants the system to serve the poor better? Then forget about largely symbolic gestures that will, if they have any effect at all, hurt people. Instead develop a revised system tha works better. Let everyone critique it and identify it’s flaws. Because I can pretty much guarantee that any system she designs isn’t going to bring magical fairness to the organ donor system.

  21. Tom Waddell
    Posted April 15, 2018 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    It surprises me that Kristel Clayville’s “credentials” would make her more likely to hold a more rational opinion on organ donation. To me, her “credentials” are more likely to result in opinions that have nothing to with objective reality.

  22. Posted April 15, 2018 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    It smells to me like Clayville’s objections are religious, but so obviously stupid that she opts to use equally ridiculous SJW rationalizations to hide them.

    In 1967 and for the next two decades the Jehovah’s Witnesses prohibited organ transplants because of “God’s law against cannibalism”. Who in her right mind would publicly use an argument like that?

  23. chewy
    Posted April 15, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    I have been more astonished about Clayville’s position because it comes from an alleged medical ethicist. Don’t care about her religious credentials, for as “JC” (hmmm initials with a familiar ring) points out, her argument was not based on her religious notions. She should no longer be heard in medical ethical circles, though, and certainly appears unqualified to co-direct an ethical center. I say this having worked in California legislative arenas for some decades, where medical ethics, secular, religious including Catholic bishops, were critically engaged in the legislative process. (This was back when there was some semblance of principle and integrity in lawmaking.) If her recent essay is typical Clayville’s ethical thinking, she would not have had a seat at the table.

  24. Kyuss
    Posted April 15, 2018 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    LOL. @14:24 Sunday, she deleted your post and closed the comments.

    • Kyuss
      Posted April 15, 2018 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      Check that – was looking at the wrong link.

  25. Sastra
    Posted April 15, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    “Recently, I made a lot of people angry with my piece, “Why I’m not an Organ Donor,” with comments generally falling into two broad categories: ad hominem attacks and sincere questions about my position. Of the former, biologist/blogger Jerry Coyne’s stand out …

    … because he’s an ignorant little atheist and so his arguments have no merit.”

    Well, that’s one way to handle ad hominem attacks, I guess.

  26. Posted April 15, 2018 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Her equality got the better of her and someone is going to pay the price.

  27. Eddie Janssen
    Posted April 15, 2018 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Would it be fair to restrict the recipients of your organs to those who are organ donaters themselves?

    • Eddie Janssen
      Posted April 15, 2018 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      hmm, donators

      • grasshopper
        Posted April 15, 2018 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

        D’oh!

    • DutchA
      Posted April 15, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      Sure, if properly embedded in the law. Like: Only persons who have been registered as donor for at least 3 years come into consideration for receiving donor organs.

    • Posted April 16, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      You mean, like an organ-sharing co-op?

  28. grasshopper
    Posted April 15, 2018 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Should such circumstances arise that Kristel Clayville was in need of a donated organ to prolong her life, would she reject the organ if she knew it was from a rich, white donor?

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted April 15, 2018 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      …in need of a donated organ to prolong her life, would she reject the organ if she knew it was from a rich, white donor?

      An interesting question. In the real world the choice isn’t offered – recipients aren’t allowed to know the donor’s identity in advance [except where it’s a friend/relative living donor obviously]. However it is highly likely that the unknown donor will be more than average ‘privileged’ because blacks & Hispanics don’t pull their weight in terms of donations.

      However Clayville claims HERE that she wouldn’t accept an organ donation while not herself being on the donor’s list:-

      “…My social support, education level, finances, and knowledge of the medical system mean that I could probably get listed for an organ should I need one. Personally, I would not choose that course of treatment if I hadn’t already decided to be a donor, and more than likely, I simply would not choose that treatment

      It is interesting that she says she would not choose to accept an organ even if she was on the donor’s list – She doesn’t explain why. She does a lot of notsplaining!

      This notsplaining about the most interesting aspect: why she, a non-medical expert on transplantation, wouldn’t accept an organ… leads me to suspect she is lying about her motivations or she is unaware consciously of her negative feelings about transplantation. Perhaps she’s seen the outcomes & isn’t impressed by the quality of life or maybe she’s turned off by the addition of faces & hands to the list of organs.

      There’s something fishy about her attitude.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted April 15, 2018 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        WHO DONATES

      • grasshopper
        Posted April 15, 2018 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        … recipients aren’t allowed to know the donor’s identity in advance

        Yes. I understand that. Stuff happens though. Imagine being told by your doctor that you need a new heart but there are none available. A famous, rich guy dies unexpectedly. His wife mourns. She goes on TV and says he wanted his organs donated. The doctor calls and says a heart has become suddenly available. You put two and two together. You ask the doctor if the heart was from that specific donor…

  29. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted April 15, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Here we go again, Clayville suffer from the common religious reflex of making a strawman of a _result_ of observing that religion is completely incompatible with fact and fact based methods both. The reflex is to explicitly claim such results are prior “assumptions” and implicitly that these results are unchangeable which of course nothing observed is.

    How _dare_ they!? If something is unchangeable it is the morally deprived oratory and stances of the religious.

    Clayville reminds me why I am so happy that the last decade has seen religious de facto claims on their magic being profoundly attacked by physics (and other sciences) – the universe or humans or humans minds are neither containing magic nor are products of magic – as well as that Europe is now dominantly secular with the youngest generation effectively religion free. Progress, on knowledge and moral both.

  30. Simon Hayward
    Posted April 15, 2018 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Ethnicity is important in matching the phenotypic variables of organs and recipients to minimize rejection risk. Apparently cell surface markers and the immune cells that detect and destroy them are unaware of their socially rather than biologically constructed nature. It can be harder to match patients between than within racial groups – of course, there is a lot of overlap.

    It would be interesting to know the level of donation in different groups (a parallel to the pie chart provided for recipients. This might elucidate shortfalls of donors for specific recipients.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted April 15, 2018 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      Here below are answers to the two sides to your question [for the USA]
      [1] Who needs?:-

      Why do minorities have a higher need for transplants?

      More than half of all people on the transplant waiting list are from a racial or ethnic minority group. That is because some diseases that cause end-stage organ failure are more common in these populations than in the general population.

      For example, African Americans, Asians, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics/Latinos are 3 times more likely than Whites to suffer from end-stage renal (kidney) disease, often as the result of high blood pressure.

      Native Americans are 4 times more likely than Whites to suffer from diabetes. An organ transplant is sometimes the best—or only—option for saving a life.

      SOURCE Expand “Transplants & the waiting list” section”]

      [2] Who gives [for livers only]?:-

      “In conclusion, this study has highlighted the low organ donation rate for livers noted in the black and Hispanic populations. It clearly demonstrates that there is no effect on transplant survival where an organ is transplanted between the races. Thus, race is not a factor in assessing whether a given recipient might benefit from a given donor organ”

      SOURCE

  31. ladyatheist
    Posted April 15, 2018 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    I feel the same way about the people who complain about the political system and refuse to vote. It’s unfortunate that one’s moral purity isn’t accompanied by a zipper on the lips.

  32. Posted April 15, 2018 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    This is is a very familiar t(r)ick of the woke.

    In fact, I preferred the classic “slut” comment to JC’s shallow engagement with my piece. At least that comment made the point that any woman on the internet is vulnerable to sex shaming even when she’s saying that she doesn’t want to share her body with others.

    Why does she bring this up? Of course, it’s designed to rub off. For such manipulaors often conjure up unrelated contexts held together by a flimsy association to colour the critics in a particular way. That’s such a low that her complaining about ad hominem is pure projection.

    Also, it’s yet another instance of using ad hominem falsly. An ad hominem is a rhetorical device to persuade that someone’s utterances aren’t worthwhile because of personal circumstances that undermine their credibility: “Don’t believe him, he can’t know, because at the time he was drunk” would be one. It’s a fallacy by default because someone’s drunkeness, or any other personal trait has no relation to whether their statement is true (it might be, even by happenstance).

    People who want to sound educated often say ad hominem when they mean insult. But Jerry’s words (“dumb” and “petulant”) aren’t ad hominems, because he doesn’t say the argument aren’t worthwhile because Ms Clayville is petulant and dumb, he explains why he thinks that, and the insults are actually a conclusion, a verdict.

    To make it an a actual ad hominem, he would have to assert: “Ms Clayville is dumb. What she says can’t possibly be right. We need not consider her petulant utterances”.

  33. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted April 15, 2018 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    “The microscopic story has never been compelling to me, and in fact, with patients who have received transplants, that story can be a source of psychological trauma. They often feel like they’ve received a gift they can’t repay, that they were unworthy, or that the life-for-life exchange becomes overwhelming for them.”

    Oh, fuck that.

    “I’m not going to save your life, potential organ recipient, in case you feel guilty about it. You’ll be much better off dead”.

    Is this entitled moron for real?

    cr

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted April 15, 2018 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

      By the way, I’m not denying that recipients could have emotional reactions to the situation – reactions which need professional assistance to deal with. But living with it and dealing with it is far preferable to not.

      cr

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted April 15, 2018 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

      The two Kristel Clayville quotes in your comment…

      Is the second quote actually a quote or are you paraphrasing her or are you being satirical? You have put quote marks around both, but only the first seems to be a quote. Or Mr. Google has missed it & so have I. Confused.

      • Craw
        Posted April 15, 2018 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

        Satirical imputed speech.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted April 16, 2018 at 3:08 am | Permalink

        Sorry, that second ‘quote’ was my sarcastic paraphrase of the message I took from the first quote. I hadn’t realised there would be any ambiguity, I could have made it more explicit.

        Craw’s comment is correct.

        cr

  34. Craw
    Posted April 15, 2018 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    So JC is wrong because JC doesn’t accept JC. JC is infallible and if JC denies that it’s because JC doesn’t understand JC. Ignore JC; trust JC.
    Got it.

  35. Richard Sanderson
    Posted April 16, 2018 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Another example of Toxic Social Justice.

  36. Posted April 16, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    The US system (where you pay more than every other civilisation for demonstrably worse health care) baffles the rest of the world.
    It makes sense if you assume that it is predicated on the same basis as your gun laws (e.g. That you hate and mistrust one another so much you’d rather see one another die in the gutter than contribute to one another’s survival)
    Here is one creative solution
    https://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/health

  37. Posted April 16, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Rule of holes!

  38. Posted April 16, 2018 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    She basically is doing nothing and wanting to be seeing as better person for it.


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