Organ donation quandary: Just found out my boyfriend, who I love and am thinking of a future with, is not an organ donor. He doesn't have any religious beliefs to speak of, but he said he would like to be buried whole.
I lost my lifelong best friend nearly a decade ago as she waited for an organ donation that never came. This issue is kind of important to me. Do I have the right to broach such an intensely personal decision with my boyfriend? How do I do I approach it without putting him on the defensive? I feel that I can talk with him about a lot of things, but I don't want to be unreasonable because I am so emotionally invested in the issue.
This isn't a dealbreaker for me, I don't think. But it is something I want to discuss with him.
Carolyn Hax: Absolutely you can raise this issue with him, and I hope you do. It is intensely personal, and you can start by acknowledging that--but it's also a public health issue. Explain that your experience gives you a different perspective, and ask him if he has considered the possibility that someone close to him might one day need an organ that never materializes. Or, that he himself might.
And if he did need one, and one became available, would he accept it? Or is it okay by him that other people aren't buried whole? Does he think it's morally consistent to live knowing this safety net is there and that he's willing to avail himself of it, but not contribute to it himself?
Then he can revisit his stance, while you revisit your deal-breakers.
Of course, for me, it's a non-issue. Anyone I'm dating better be an organ donor!!!! :-D