Letter: Not here, please

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Friday's Right of Reply on organ donation from Christopher Tiarks was slightly ingenuous, although I agree with his general tenor. But things aren't as simple as he suggests in saying, "If you die intestate, the state doesn't immediately seize your assets."

The medical profession already condones, or is actively involved in, operations on deceased individuals without their prior informed consent: in the case of those not expecting to die, intervention by pathologists and forensic scientists is permitted by law and nobody cares too much about that. What we do with corpses is done by tacit and implicit consent, and social rules.

If I were to declare formally, "When I die, leave me where I fall," it would not be long before the local authority, irrespective of my wishes, removed me to a more suitable place for decomposition.


London W7