Will this rain ever end?

Five days into summer, and the weather today was very wintry. The maximum temperature was only 19.2°C, which would be perfectly normal for the middle of winter. And it was rainy and gloomy. It was similar yesterday, but colder today. And… we have rain forecast every day for the next week too, up to about 75 mm in total. This is a really weird weather pattern for this time of year, certainly under the influence of La Niña. I keep waiting for the day when suddenly the clouds and rain will vanish and the temperatures will soar into the 30s for the remainder of summer, but it shows no signs of happening yet.

My wife had a video thing on today, so I took Scully out for a long walk over lunch time so she could do it without interruptions. We walked out to the new bakery at Naremburn, where I grabbed some lunch – a vegetarian mushroom pie and a custard tart. It rained intermittently and I had to put my umbrella up and down about a dozen times before we got back home again.

This afternoon I worked on writing a new batch of Irregular Webcomic! strips. I need to get those photographed on Tuesday morning when I have some spare time, so I need to get all the scripts written by then.

Oh, I also took Scully for a short drive over to the hardware store to get some craft supplies for my wife. She’s going to try using some of the leftover scrap material from her dog bandana sewing to make decoupage bangles.

For dinner I was going to make Thai red curry vegetables with rice, but I discovered that we’re almost out of red curry paste, so I switched at the last minute to green curry instead. I wonder if I should add some yellow curry paste to the shopping list as well…

And this evening I had two ethics classes. The topic this week is organ donation, and it’s been a really good topic. There are lots of tricky questions that are obviously getting the kids thinking, and their answers span the range of possibilities, which is always more interesting than when they all agree with one another. There’s a strong divide on the following question:

Imagine someone is in a hospital and desperately needs a heart transplant. A car accident victim is brought in. Doctors try to save them, but unfortunately they die. Their heart could save the person who needs a transplant. If the dead person’s driver’s licence says they do not consent to be an organ donor, should the doctors respect that wish, even if it means letting the heart patient die?

I’m getting roughly half the kids saying that you have to save the heart patient’s life, even if it means disrespecting the dead person’s wishes – because saving a life is imperative and the dead person isn’t going to know anyway. And roughly half the kids saying that you must respect the dead person’s wishes – because it may be really important to them what happens to their body, and why even bother recording a donor status if doctors are going to ignore it anyway? And there are a few other questions that are just as divisive. The good thing is this is exposing the kids to different opinions, as well as the reasons why people hold those opinions (as I get each of them to explain why they answer the way they do). I also get the kids to try to provide reasons supporting the other side of the argument.

New content today:

3 thoughts on “Will this rain ever end?”

  1. You can extend your argument for the students who want to just take the deceased person’s heart. Wouldn’t that reasoning also let you take their money and give it to poor people? Or take it while they’re alive, if otherwise someone would starve? How much selfishness is permitted under their reasoning?

    It’s worth maybe mentioning that you are a blood donor, which is a type of organ donor. You don’t have to die to give blood or bone marrow (or part of your liver, or one kidney).

    1. you might consider taxes are a way to compel people to give money – there are even countries that specifically give tax exemptions for people who donate to charity.
      Blood donation is not mandatory, and also is not related to donating any other organs – dead or alive – you can donate a lot of blood during your lifetime.
      Donating a kidney is harder by several magnitudes.
      Compelling body donations can go into other directions – a man may donate sperm relatively easily, as long as the legalities of the child’s parents is resolved, but a woman donating eggs will have to take hormones and other hardships, and the result may be a few dosens of eggs at most, not all of them viable.
      No – it’s not moral to force someone to donate parts of themselves, regardless of what you think about taxes.

  2. you should read the old sci-fi novel The Long Arm Of Gil Hamilton – in the future, people are forced to be organ donors if they are convicted criminals, or even just people who criogenically froze themselves in the past. One of the stories talks about a woman who was accused of murder and then was dissassembled for parts while still waiting for her trial (she was innocent).
    I am so glad that in real life, scientists are working on bio-printing organs grown in a lab from the same person’s DNA – it’s a frightening thought about what would happen if people were forced to donate their organs against their will.
    I am a registered donor, but seriously – if somebody wants to be buried whole for whatever reason – there is no right to compel them to donate, or their families.
    There is definitely no right to compel prisoners to donate, especially death-penalty crimes.

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