Catholic League president Bill Donohue is supporting an effort led by New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind opposing bills that would allow the government to harvest human organs unless the prospective donor explicitly says no. Assemblyman Richard Brodsky's bill is at the heart of the controversy: it would make New York the first state to presume that its citizens wish to donate their organs, unless otherwise directed.
Donohue explains his concerns as follows:
It is one thing for someone to exercise informed consent and voluntarily donate his or her organs, quite another for the state to assume it has a right to them unless stipulated otherwise. The state does not have a lien on our bodies. Indeed, to assume it does is morally obscene. Have we not seen enough evidence in the past one hundred years of what happens when agents of government assume a mantle of authority over the life and limbs of innocent persons? This kind of utilitarian calculus always winds up punishing the least among us while rewarding the stronger.
Assemblyman Dov Hikind has already amassed the support of several Jewish groups. Catholics should fall in line as well as this is a clear instance of the necessity of a Catholic-Jewish alliance for the common good.