I started donating blood in 2016, when I realized I could donate despite being diabetic. (I’d misunderstood or been misinformed about that.) I’ll get my 4-gallon pin with my next donation.
This is personal to me. Donated blood and platelets helped my wife survive nine months while she was fighting cancer.
I’m O-, which is the universal donor. Which means the Red Cross REALLY wants my blood. I get plenty of reminder calls, texts, and emails. Donors also sometimes receive gift cards, T-shirts, and other goodies, all to encourage us to give.
What they don’t do is come to my house, pin me down, and take my precious O- blood by force. That would be ridiculous, right? Not to mention criminal. Even in the midst of the first-ever National Blood Crisis, they can beg for donations, but I always have the right to say no.
Even if my donation would make the difference between a patient living and dying — I have the right to say no, and to let that patient die. (See McFall v. Shimp)
“But what if it’s an innocent child, or a helpless baby?”
Legally, it doesn’t matter. I have the right to say no. Even if it means that child or baby will die.
Would I say no? I would not. I plan to keep donating for as long as I’m physically able to do so. I’m also registered as an organ donor. Because that’s what I choose to do.
Even if I caused an accident, and the victim is bleeding out, and only my blood can keep them alive — I still have the right to say no. I have the right to choose whether or not to donate my blood.
17 people die every day waiting for an organ transplant. (Source) But–living or dead–you have the right to refuse to donate your organs. The rights of your corpse trump the “right to life” of those people waiting for transplants.
I don’t know about you, but I prefer knowing the Red Cross or the government can’t force me to donate blood. That I can choose to donate, but that nobody is allowed to violate my bodily autonomy.
Think about it. Do you really want the Red Cross kicking down your door to collect a quarterly donation from you and your kids?
(I exaggerate. The RC people I’ve worked with are great people. I’m sure they’d knock first.)
“But what about the rights and bodily autonomy of that helpless baby?”
I don’t think the Red Cross or the government should be able to force babies to donate blood and organs either. But, again, I can’t be forced to violate my own bodily autonomy to save that baby’s life.
Let’s say, hypothetically, I somehow became pregnant. If my unborn child is a person, you can’t force me to violate my bodily autonomy to save that person. If they’re not — if they’re a part of my body — I have the right to choose what to do with my own body.
Of course, if people really cared about reducing abortions, there are ways to do it without violating bodily autonomy. For example, “[P]roviding birth control to women at no cost…cuts abortion rates by 62 to 78 percent compared to the national rate.” (Source)
The push to criminalize abortion isn’t about protecting life. It’s about power and control over other people.
Just like every other abusive relationship.
Warning for discussion of death.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but 2022 has been a hell of a year so far.
In February, we lost my Uncle John. He’d been fighting off cancer for years, so this wasn’t completely unexpected, but it still hurt.
Then in March, my mother-in-law was admitted to the Emergency Room. She was hospitalized for two weeks, and passed on the 14th.
A week later, while we were still recovering from that, my brother’s wife died suddenly and unexpectedly.
It’s been a lot to deal with. My brother has been coping the best he can with support from friends and family. For the kids and I, it all tore open some wounds from when Amy died in 2019.
To paraphrase Bruce Willis, I can’t f***ing believe this. How can the same thing happen to the same family twice?
We’re getting through it. I would very much like to not have to get through anything like this again for a long time, please.
So that’s what’s been eating up a lot of my emotional energy these past months. I’ve still been writing, though!
I rewrote Project K and sent it to my agent earlier this year. He wanted me to revise some things before we sent it out on submission, so I did that and got it back to him just over a week ago.
I also got edits back from my editor for Terminal Peace. My turnaround is really tight on these, since the book comes out in August, but I’m on track and should have those finished in a few more days.
In between all that, I wrote a short story for an anthology, and that editor has a few revisions they’d like me to do. That’s on the To Do List right after Terminal Peace.
Then, finally, I’ve got an essay I need to write for a different market by May 1.
And now you know where my mental energy has been going lately.
I feel like I’m pretty much keeping up with it all, but please don’t toss me any more chainsaws to juggle until at least May.
And stay healthy, y’all! ♥
Friday has been juggling rewrites on three different projects, and is feeling slightly frazzled…