Saturday, March 27, 2010

Repo Men: A Disaster for Organ Donation

My version of the plot summary: A company called The Union provides mechanical organs to those who need them. It is thought of as better for the patient since they will not have to wait on a transplant list. The recipient must pay the large sum of money on time or else repo men will come to retrieve it. The way they handle that task is to simply knock the person unconscious and then slice them open to rip out the organ (yes, at this point that poor soul usually dies). Jude Law and Forest Whitaker are the best repo men in the business. When Jude's character has an accident, he receives a heart transplant and is forced to become that which he hunts down everyday. The story then follows his attempt to try to erase his overdue account out of The Union's system.
Last night, my friend invited me to go see Repo Men. His reasons were that organ harvesting makes good entertainment. Well, it was partially true. I was entertained for the beginning of the film watching Jude Law slash through people's skin in order to repossess their overdue organs. However, in the back of my mind I knew that there was definitely something wrong with this picture. In one scene, a worker in the "sales department" is shown discussing the pros of getting a mechanical organ. One of the reasons is that the old way of waiting for organs runs a risk for the patient to die or worsen. Now, this is true. That is a huge reason why many should become organ donors- there are not enough donors out there and many waiting on the transplant list die while waiting. In the film, the "sales team" is portrayed as a giant con act, tricking people into getting a transplant. This is the part that really gets to me. The whole film revolves around showing the transplant recipients as victims and those providing the organs as evil. Because many are not educated organ donation, this will place it in an extremely negative light.

I am the recipient of a heart transplant, and try to do my best to educate others and convince them to donate. Many believe that the doctors will not save you or even kill you if you are an organ donor and need emergency care from an accident/surgery. This is completely untrue. Plus, your organs are needed alive. So think about it- would they kill you to get your organs which would also die with you? That's a grim and blunt way of saying it, but no, they wouldn't.

This film made the rejection of organ donation look cool. I hope that you watch the movie for education of what the health system is not, nor should ever be, like and not ignore an enormous issue that is being presented in it.

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