Friday, March 31, 2006

If only I had a brain

Over at Larvatus Prodeo a few days ago, Haiku Hogan thoughtfully posted a link to the Australian organ donor scheme signup site thingy.

I tried to sign up some years ago before they really had their act together, and the upshot is that now I can't find out whether I'm actually on their books or not. I tried to ask at a Medicare office once and was told 'the computer won't let me'. (That sad, hopeless and all-too-familiar remark deserves a post all to itself; the last person who said it to me was a very doddery senior staff member at the optometrists', who was trying to explain why I couldn't have the frames I'd just spent fifteen minutes picking out for my prescription sunnies. Don't get me wrong; I too am ruled by what the computer will and will not let me do.)

Anyhoo, after all this time I'm still trying to find out whether, if I got blasted into the life to come by some diamond-decked eastern-suburbs matron in a gas-guzzling pedestrian-smashing environment-destroying SUV the minute I walked out into the street, my heart would be good to go for some other punter without a lot of paperwork and mucking about.

But when I tried to check this out a year or two ago, the organ donor scheme was apparenty still in its adolescence and there was not a single person who seemed able to tell me whether the form I'd filled in and posted off had ever arrived at its destination, much less been properly processed. It says 'Organ Donor' on my driver's licence but I have no idea what legal clout, if any, that might carry when they're debating about turning off the life support. My family know what I want but I don't completely trust them, if push comes to shove, not to get squeamish at the last minute.

There is something Kafkaesque about this situation. There must by now be some simple way I could check, but I'm a bit scared I might end up in The Castle. If not The Trial. If I get turned into a bug, of course, the question of donating my organs becomes academic anyway.


Zoe said...

If you don't have a little organ donor care from the HIC in your wallet, I'm guessing you're not registered.

You're a Taurus aren't you? So it should be in your wallet if you have it.

Number is 1800 777 203

And good on you. Your family can still override your wishes, but talking to everyone helps. We're all donors in our mob.

Blue said...

We're all donors here too - however I learned something interesting the other week when my friends father died. Organ donation only works if you die in hospital. They will not collect you and will not accept already deceased bodies even with a doctors certificate and ambulance notification.

Val said...

I tried to ask at a Medicare office once and was told 'the computer won't let me'.

Or in the words of the character from the "Little Britain" show:
"The computer says nao-o-ow"

Frightening public service, in any case.