• Nasu, Tochigi


Regarding the June 20 editorial “Recognition of brain death“: The Lower House’s passage of the new bill is a very welcome step in the right direction, and the editorial misses the mark by falling back on a tired, old reason for not supporting this measure — a supposed lack of “public consensus.”

You’ll never have public consensus on an issue like this anymore than you’ll have on something like abortion or capital punishment. Any healthy society will always have large divisions of opinion on the nature of human death. But there’s no need for such a consensus with a well-designed bill like this. It opens the way for organ transplants for children — often in need of a new organ because of congenital problems — yet still allows any family to keep their loved one’s organs from being taken if they don’t believe in that sort of thing.

Like decisions to withhold treatment in terminal cases, the best decision-makers in cases like these are those who actually have to face such a difficult choice — the families of the donors. As long as the legal framework allows those involved to follow their heart, we can form a “public consensus” that the best law possible is on the books.

scott hards

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