Oct 30, 1975 SENSE AND NONSENSE
Archie Bunker in “All in The Family” on TV the other night was quite concerned when he inadvertently signed an organ donor contract. He didn’t realize he was authorizing the charity that his boss supported to extract, not money from his paycheque, but any spare parts worth recycling from his body after he died.
Archie was worried about the character of the people who may inherit his eyes and other parts after death. I suppose some people would hesitate to donate their bodies to the medical profession for that reason. I am sure they need not worry. I believe there are more basically good people in this world than evil rat-fink type people.
I would gladly donate anything useful after death to whomever can make use of it. However, as Edith tried to reassure Archie, “Everything may be so worn out, nobody will want anything!”
One thing that has always intrigued me is the idea of a brain transplant. Our brain is supposed to be what we really are, the part of us that distinguishes us from everyone else. Our memories, emotions and ambitions live there, as well as the mechanisms that control the other parts of our bodies. Without a brain, the rest of our body would just lie there uselessly. This may remind some of us of certain people we know but medical science assures us that everyone has a brain lurking somewhere in the dark recesses of the skull.
If I should die of something other than a brain injury and if someone happens to have everything intact but for some reason or other is lacking a brain, I should like to donate mine to them. That is if medical science has progressed to the extent that they are able to install the one into the other. However, there would be one problem.
The problem would be a matter of technicalities. Would I really be donating my brain to her (or him) or would she be donating her body to me? If the brain is really where it’s at, then we would be me. However, since the body is the larger part of the anatomy containing such identifying parts as the face and of course finger-prints, it is possible that we would be considered to be her. I suppose we could share. Multiple names have been around for a long time and I believe are a trademark of the aristocracy in some countries.
If my donor or donee – whatever the case may be – is a man the problems could escalate. My brain is used to being female and would probably be unable to change. It would probably reject the body. That is unless the body rejected it first. On second thought, I believe I will not donate my brain to medical science. At the moment it seems a trifle unstable. It may not even last as long as the rest of me. Just in case, does anyone have a good used brain around they would like to donate?