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Tuesday, March 15, 2016


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Jim Whyte

Funny this should come up; I have one of those no-picture, never-expiring red and white OHIP cards that were good enough for Grandpa, and just got a letter telling me I have to move into the 1990s and get a photo card.

Along with it comes a form to fill out offering to be cut up and distributed when I meet an untimely end (whether through boozing, unsafe driving, carrying an edged tool, social conservatism, or something else the establishment loveth not).

Very solicitous, this form. It informs me that refusing to be listed as a donor will NOT make me ineligible for the health care I pay for through my taxes. Kindly but firm are our masters.

Do a little googling and you can probably find the instructions issued to Ontario health care professionals on approaching next of kin to approve organ donation by someone in articulo mortis. It's a bargain-basement nudging manual, manipulative, intrusive, and coercive. "From what I hear, Jane always loved helping people...would you consider...?"

I think organ donation is, in itself, an unalloyed good. And in Old Testament times, when the form was a tearoff on the back of your driver's licence, I always signed it and made sure my family knew I had. But the nudge from Nanny has soured me on helping those left behind.

So when I go and get the photo OHIP card, they're getting a nudge back. The form will be filled out very creatively. Not because I begrudge sick people the use of my spare parts, but because I can't stand the nagging.

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