An encore for wisdom

Natalie Hanassab

The topic of discussion for the ENCORE/Oasis lecture series for the week of March 6 was on a very controversial subject: “Should We Be Allowed to Sell Our Organs: Ethical Ramifications.”The lecture program hosts a meeting every week in the Campus Center to discuss issues that pertain to everyday life.This particular meeting was hosted by philosophy professor Betty Odello. She not only informed the audience about the ethical consequences of selling one’s organs, but allowed them to be a part of the lecture by sharing their thoughts and opinions.She would ask questions such as, “How many people in the audience know someone who needed or has donated an organ?”After learning that half of them could relate, Odello went on to inform the audience on facts and theories of donating and selling organs.She began by explaining the fears of donating and why most people do not have the donor sticker on their driver’s license. She stated that most older adults feel that the older they are, the older their organs are.”Many people think they can’t donate because they are too old, but your organs may not be the same age as you,” Odello said. “If you are younger at heart, your organs may be younger.”The talk included an open discussion on the matter of selling one’s organs, an issue that Odello deemed “controversial.”A few who answered said that it wouldn’t go against their morals and came to an agreement that they would be all for it “if it (was headed by) a trustworthy and monitored organization that controlled the buying and selling.”Some also posed that if individuals can sell parts of their body such as blood, semen and eggs, they should be able to sell their organs as well.Although many stated that they see no problem, the majority of the audience said that it is a wrong thing to do.Odello made her point clear when she explained that the new business may cause a lot of serious crime in our country.”It may become a commodity,” Odello said. “People could be taken off the street and killed for their organs.”Odello definitely thought that donation was the more positive action to take, as our socioeconomic status would not matter.”When we are thrown on a waiting list, we are on the same level as everyone else and no one looks at that,” she said.ENCORE/Oasis is designed specifically for mature adults in our community. The classes consist of a variety of subjects, including lectures by chosen professors. It seems to be a great success.”The lecture was excellent,” said Sandy Struman, who attended the meeting. “I’ve attended many of them and they are all just as good.”When asked if she would ever think of selling her organs, she explained that she did not really like the thought of it.”I wouldn’t, but it is a very controversial issue and I have many fears that come along with it,” Struman said.Struman’s friend and fellow attendee concluded the statement by adding, “If it was a family member or loved one, I would rise above my fears.”ENCORE director Ida Blaine wanted the opportunity to bring up timely topics that many people desire to learn about in their free time. This is the main reason why the ENCORE program has interested so many people.”We ask the professors we are interested in to give discussions about the most topical and timely subjects that we think influence everyone,” Blaine said. “We want people in the lectures to tell their children and grandchildren about the wonderful faculty we have here at Pierce.”