Victoria East High School

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English 2 (Period 6)

Instructor
CHRISTOPHER ELVEN
Department
ELAR

Course Description

This course will continue to refine a student's skills in the use of the English language. This will be accomplished through both reading and writing exercises, with a special focus on Argumentative/Persuasive writing and analysis. 

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See all posted assignments for this class.

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Questions about the cover of THUG

Thinking about what the cover says about the book. ONLY the cover.
Finish the following sentence stem:
In looking at the cover, I believe this book is about...
As you read the article, mark the text:
Use a "?" is you are confused or have a question about a passage.
A "!" if you have a strong reaction to something said.
A "*" if you feel that you'd like to comment on something the article says.
Then, underline key ideas in the text.
 

Understanding Check for article:

  1. Which quote best describes how Cartwright participated in the protest?
    1. “The inspiration for the cover design was created as I sat in my 34th floor magazine office overlooking the Freddie Gray protest down the street,” said Cartwright.
    2. “I couldn’t leave work to join in at the moment so I illustrated a woman and a little boy with the sign saying ‘Stop Police Terror…’”
    3. “It went viral on Instagram and unfortunately is still shared when another black person is killed.”
    4. Cartwright said that when Stempel-Lobell informed her Angie Thomas was a big fan of her work, she assumed Thomas had stumbled across the protest illustrations.
  2. The image/post (“End Police Terror) emphasizes…
    1. the terror of a protest.
    2. the simplicity of artwork.
    3. the fear of parents or future parents of African-American children.
    4. the popularity of protesting on social media.
  3. In paragraph 20 (begins “But more generally”), the phrase “kitchen sink options” refers to…
    1. the artist putting everything in the image at first, and then deleted the unnecessary details.
    2. the artist beginning her artwork with a kitchen sink, and then morphing it into the end result.
    3. the idea that the details are important.
    4. the idea that all pieces she creates use negative space.
  4. The tone for paragraph 11 can best be described as…
    1. appreciation for the opportunity.
    2. delirium at working for an idol.
    3. recognition of seeing an African-American character on a book cover.
    4. excitement at including all the details of the main character’s shoes.
  5. The target audience for this article can be identified as…
    1. those interested in book art.
    2. students studying young adult literature.
    3. those who want to know more about The Hate U Give.
    4. None of the above.

Questions for Chapter 9 of THUG

  1. Starr states that the rioters are mad about something specific. What is that thing?
  2. Why do Seven and Starr go to play basketball? Do you believe it’s a wise decision? Why or why not?
  3. We haven’t really thought about the shots fired at the party in Chapter 1. What do we find out about them, now?
  4. What do you think that Nana’s REAL issue is at this point? It’s not that someone baked fish instead of frying it, but what could be the real issue?

Questions for Chapter 8 of THUG

  1. What do you believe Starr’s opinion of her current church is? What makes you give that answer?
  2. What conflict is April Ofrah possibly starting by speaking at the funeral in the way that she does? Do you agree with her decision, or not? Why?
  3. Does your opinion of Khalil (not Khalil’s death) change at all with King marking him as a King Lord? Why would or wouldn’t it matter?

Questions for Chapter 7 of THUG

  1. Why are Maya and Hailey guarding Starr from Chris?
  2. Why do you believe that Starr lets Hailey make the decisions for the group? Do you have a friend like that?
  3. At this point in the story, what do you think of Hailey’s comment during the basketball game? Are you willing to believe her explanation? Why or why not?
  4. We see another possible conflict added to Starr’s life. What does this particular conflict tell us about Starr’s interactions with the people at her school?

Questions for Chapter 6 of THUG

  1. What is the point of referring to Khalil's death as an "incident," rather than a shooting or murder?
  2. All we see here is Starr's point of view (obviously). That limits our understanding of this scene, somewhat. Do we want to know what the detectives know or suspect? Why or why not?
  3. Can you think of anything surrounding the "incident" that might have influenced Officer One-Fifteen's point-of-view and his actions that night?

Questions for Chapter 5 of THUG

  1. As we see Starr heading into her high school, we get an enormous dose of the internal struggle that she is going through. What are some of these internal struggles?
    • How could these internal struggles inform any external struggles that she has at the school?
  2. On pg. 77, we see that Starr has had a social media split from one of her best friends after the posting of material that talks about civil rights issues and struggles, though this split is not openly acknowledged.
    • What does this unacknowledged split say both about Starr and about Hailey?
  3. How Starr deals with Chris is a large part of this chapter. Why do you believe she feel so close to Chris, despite each of them coming from very different worlds?
  4. Finally, on pages 91 and 92, we see Starr’s emotional dam break. She finally says what she wants to say about someone. When you have had a chance to do this in the past, how has it actually made you feel? Did everything just work out after that, or were there some type of consequences?

Questions for Chapter 4 of THUG

  1. Why would the idea of Starr talking with detectives about the shooting be up for debate?
    • What does this debate say about her internal and external struggles?
    • Internal struggles are those we have with our own feelings, external struggles are those that come from things around us, including nature, society, and other people.
  2. Who are the two sides of the debate in question 1 primarily represented by?
    • Why these two?
  3. Why do Starr, and her whole family, feel so indebted to Ms. Rosalie (Khalil’s grandmother)?
  4. In the middle of pg. 64, Starr says that “…the train shifts to another track.” What is meant by this metaphor? How do we know?
  5. What moral dilemma does Starr go through in this second scene in Chapter 4?

Essay Outline (General)

  1. Thesis (Reword Prompt and pick side)
  2. Body Paragraph 1
    1. Topic Sentence (What are you going to talk about?)
    2. Concrete Example (an example that uses definite facts/people/etc)
    3. Commentary (why does the example matter, or what was the outcome of the example that shows how it relates to the Topic Sentence)
    4. Connection (How does this relate to the thesis?)
  3. Body Paragraph 2
    1. Topic Sentence (What are you going to talk about?)
    2. Concrete Example (a DIFFERENT example that uses definite facts/people/etc)
    3. Commentary (why does the example matter, or what was the outcome of the example that shows how it relates to the Topic Sentence)
    4. Connection (How does this relate to the thesis?)
  4. Conclusion
    1. Restatement of Thesis
    2. Call to Action

Vaping Is An Urgent Threat to Public Health

by Reichardt, Elliott M., and Juliet R. Guichon, 3.13.19
 
1  Youth are using e-cigarettes (also known as vaping devices) at a rapidly increasing rate—a practice that constitutes an urgent threat to public health.
 
2  Preliminary survey data suggests that, for the first time in 30 years, the youth smoking rate has increased in Canada, with e-cigarettes being the suspected cause. Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control in the United States also found that 1.5 million more youth used e-cigarettes in 2018 than in 2017.
 
3  If unchecked by strict regulations, the next generation of youth is likely to be the most nicotine-dependent and the heaviest smoking in recent history, wiping out decades of efforts to protect them.
 
4  As researchers in tobacco control and pediatric bioethics, we seek to protect children and youth from lifelong nicotine dependency, initiation of cigarette use and the damage to lungs associated with e-cigarette use.
 
5  The most effective protection for children is evidence-based policy that addresses the reasons they start vaping. Advertising has been shown to promote a positive brand image for vaping devices and to spur youth to try them, while social media marketing has been linked to explosive growth in sales. Therefore, governments globally should promptly ban all e-cigarette advertising.
 
6  Governments should also mandate plain packaging for vaping devices, ban their use wherever tobacco use is banned and strictly limit the accessibility of sales to youth—placing e-cigarettes behind the pharmacy counter.

E-CIGARETTES ARE SMOKING INITIATION DEVICES

7  Many people in the public health community had hoped that e-cigarettes would be an effective way for people to stop smoking (ourselves included). That's because these battery-operated products deliver nicotine with fewer than the approximately 7,000 toxic chemicals in regular cigarettes.
 
8  However, e-cigarettes still contain potentially harmful substances—such as heavy metals like lead, volatile organic compounds and cancer-causing agents—and evidence of vaping being an effective cessation method is limited and, in many cases, ambiguous.
 
9  Research shows that most individuals (80 per cent) who attempt to quit smoking using e-cigarettes fail to do so. Of the 20 per cent who successfully quit smoking, most (80 per cent) remain active users of e-cigarettes.
 
10  The evidence also suggests that rather than being smoking cessation devices for adults, e-cigarettes act as smoking initiation devices for youth. The National Academy of Sciences' systematic review published in early 2018 found substantial evidence that e-cigarette use increases the risks that youth and young adults will starting smoking cigarettes. It also found moderate evidence that vaping "increases the frequency and intensity" of subsequent cigarette smoking.
 
11  This finding has been affirmed in study after study published after the 2018 review. The increased risk of smoking is particularly strong (8.5-fold increased risk) in those who would otherwise be at low risk of starting to smoke cigarettes.

MARKETING AND "SCIENCE" CONSPIRE

12  This pressing threat has been met with relatively muted concern. We don't hear the fire alarms that should be sounding, perhaps because of the subversive social media marketing strategies pioneered by e-cigarette manufacturers—strategies that have created a social media landscape "dominated by pro-vaping messages disseminated by the vaping industry and vaping proponents."
 
13  Using a cloud of misinformation, vaping companies have revolutionized the marketing of e-cigarettes and significantly increased youth vaping.
 
14  What's more, the scientific research process can be corrupted. It is telling that studies published by the e-cigarette and tobacco industry are approximately 90 times more likely to find that e-cigarettes cause no harm than those published without such conflicts of interest.
 
15  The public needs clear, evidence-based information to address this emerging public health crisis.

CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS, GUMMY BEAR FLAVOUR

16  Communication to youth about the risks of e-cigarettes must address youth. Both youth and adults are attracted to e-cigarettes because they are thought to be cessation aids, to be a convenient way to avoid smoking laws and to be a safer alternative to smoking.
 
17  But e-cigarettes appeal to youth for additional reasons. Youth in particular are attracted to e-cigarettes because of their novelty, perceived harmlessness and multiplicity of flavours such as fruit, vanilla, chocolate and gummy bear.
 
18  appeal is actively cultivated by the e-cigarette industry through aggressive marketing campaigns that emphasize "lifestyle" and product design.
 
19  This marketing also occurs through successful engagement on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, with online celebrity endorsements and by profiling a variety of smoke blowing "tricks."
 
20  We reiterate that the most effective protection for children is evidence-based policy that addresses the reasons youth initiate e-cigarette use. To protect children, governments globally should promptly ban all advertising of e-cigarettes.
 
21  Vaping devices should also be sold in plain packaging, should be banned wherever tobacco use is banned and should be placed behind the pharmacy counter.

Essay Revision/Creation Notes

Overview

 
I have reviewed all the essays (or nearly so). Some were okay, and some weren't. Some were REALLY not okay, but very few were incredibly terrible. I could even tell where those with low scores were going.
 
No matter the score, though, everyone needs to revise. The revised paper will be your test score, and I know that we can do better.
 
So, what was lacking? Three main things.
  1. Evidence. Examples. PROOF!!!
  2. Effective Commentary
  3. (Distant 3rd) Effective Conclusion
There was very little in the way of adequate evidence. In this case:
  • Adequate = Specific Evidence
  • Inadequate = General or Vague statements
I know that last year, you went over HELP as a way to generate examples. Even if you don't remember it.
  • H - History
  • E - Experience
  • L - Literature
  • P - Politics or Pop Culture (depending on teacher)
I was very generous with the score that I gave in all categories, but especially evidence. Your revised essay will not be graded so gently. So let's go over the whole thing from stem to stern.
 

Thesis

First up, did you pick ONE side of the argument?
Most students did, though a few did not. Some just misunderstood the prompt. Therefore, let's go over what the prompt really means.
The prompt is asking you to determine "...whether your current choices should define the rest of your life."
This means: Should the choices that you make right now, AS A TEEN, determine exactly how your life is going to go, later?
  • If you skip school now, will you end up working at McDonald's for your whole life?
  • If you study hard now, will you definitely be successful?
  • If you're a mouthy or sweet kid now, will that be the way you are forever?
Obviously, there are some choices that are going to change your life immediately and for the long term:
  • Rob a store
  • Drive under the influence and hit someone
  • Get in a fight where someone is seriously injured
Those aren't the choices we're talking about, though you may be able to change the outcome of these, somewhat, too.
We're talking about the kinds of choices that you make every day that affect how you interact with the world:
  • Do you sit with someone who’s upset at lunch, by yourself, or with friends?
  • Do you sleep in class, play with your phone, or pay attention and learn something?
  • Do you yell at your brother and sister, or do you help out around the house?
So, we need to pick a side right now: Will these "everyday" kinds of choices determine what kind of life you're going to have, or not?
Write down your thesis, but remember something:
  • IT'S NOT YOUR OPINION
  • It's a claim, like the Law of Gravity
Sir Isaac Newton didn't say "I think that two bodies (masses) are probably attracted to each other, the strength of which is possibly in relation to their mass."
Instead, he stated it as a truth that he was about to back up with research.
The prototype for a simple thesis would be something like:
  • "The choices we make today will/will not determine the lives that we lead in the future.“
However, you can reuse your own thesis, as long as you remove your "I believe", "My opinion", "I think", etc. statements. And be sure to OBVIOUSLY choose one side of the question.
 

Topic Sentences: First Time Around

What reasons did you give in your Topic sentences? Did you HAVE Topic Sentences? Unfortunately, MANY of you ignored your Topic Sentences. Tsk, tsk
As I'm writing this the night before, I can already hear you complain: But sir! I didn't start my paragraph with "For example..."
This is true...for most of you, anyway. Instead, many of you began with your commentary, rather than tell me what you're going to be talking about. In other words, you started to explain your example before you ever got to your example!
Assuming there was one, which for many, as I’ve mentioned, there wasn’t, really.
For now, let's leave at least two lines for the topic sentence, and move on to your evidence/examples/proof.
 

Concrete Detail (Proof, Evidence, Example)

This is where the HELP acronym comes into play.
Now it is entirely possible that I forgot to mention that your examples should be specific! I mean, I DIDN'T, but it's POSSIBLE.
It's a lot more likely that you did.
What do I mean by "specific?"
I mean an example where I can identify a particular person, place, thing, event, etc. Do I need to know the person's name, necessarily? No. But it needs to be more specific than "a person" or "a student."
It should be, "My friend," "A man at the grocery store," "In a building in Paris, Texas," etc.
Now, to be clear, your examples don't have to be from Unwind. They can come from your own personal experiences, the experiences of others, movies, books, even video games!
Additionally, you can use the word "I" when you're giving an example. Keeping yourself out of it really only applies to the thesis.
Here are some examples of various, uh, examples from HELP for this essay (Except for the one about Connor, these should not be copied):
  • History - Alexander Fleming's choice to leave out a dirty experiment over the weekend led to the development of penicillin.
  • Experience - In high school, I didn't pay attention, and I didn't learn effective study habits. This had an effect on me for years afterwards, but I was able to change.
  • Literature - In Unwind, Connor's choice to approach the crying baby caused his small group to be burdened with a child.
  • Politics - President Trump's choice to talk with the Ukranian president about Joe Biden will have an effect on Trump’s Presidency.
Also, think about whatever example you have actually already used.
Is it specific? Does it have:
  • A specific name?
  • Identify a specific person (“My friend,” “My dad,” “A man at the grocery store”)?
  • A particular place?
  • A particular event?
If you are currently using a generic example: “Somebody could mouth off to their parents and…” can you turn it into a specific example?
  • On occasion, I mouth off to my parents, and I get in trouble every single time.

Commentary

Then, you need to tell me the outcome of the choice in your particular example. What happened after that choice? This is the commentary. It's a bit easier in this particular assignment, because it's a very chronologically-based essay:
  • This happened, and, as a result, this happened.
Here are some examples that explain the outcome of the previous examples.
  • H - It was a small choice, and one that he had made many times before. This time, however, Fleming noticed that one of the petri dishes no longer had any fungus growing in a ring around another, different fungus. That second fungus, refined, became penicillin: the most important medical breakthrough of the 20th century.
  • E – I didn’t initially do well in college. It took me a long time, but I was eventually able to start making good educational choices. I finally graduated from college 18 years after I started, and I did so with really good grades.
  • L - That burden affected how the group travelled, interacted with others and, eventually, how and where they hid from authorities.
  • P - Even though, to Trump, it was a seemingly logical thing to talk about, it directly led to formal impeachment inquiries that are ongoing in the House of Representatives right now.

Connection (Transition Sentence)

Last (actually, second to last in the process for the body paragraph), and possibly least, is your transition sentence.
You need one, but don't waste too much time or effort on it, unless you have a lot of time. Just bring it back to your thesis, somehow.
  • Don't be too obvious, though: "This links back to my thesis by..."
  • Be subtle: "Fleming's ordinary, lazy choice had long-lasting effects on his career and on medicine."
  • Or, generic: "This example shows that choices have a lot of/little effect on our larger lives."

Topic Sentence (Back Again!)

Now that you know what example you're giving, and how you're explaining it, we need to back up and determine what kind of Topic Sentence you want to write.
Remember that your Topic Sentence should be a headline that previews what you're going to be talking about. Not the actual example, itself, but rather what your example is going to be addressing:
  • H - Sometimes, it's the seemingly little choices that have the greatest effect on our lives.
  • E - People change, and their choices change.
  • L - Some choices are bigger than others, and have a huge effect on us.
  • P - Literally anyone can have a problem with making bad choices.
These are just examples, and not ones you should copy. You should always create your own work, unless I’ve given you something specific to use.
 

Doing It All Again a Second Time 'Round!

And now, we do it all again for the second body paragraph.
Did you even have a second body paragraph?
Statistically, about 1/3 of you didn't. In fact, several of you didn't have more than 1 paragraph.
Now's a good time to add one.
Go through the whole process again.
  1. Leave a line for your Topic Sentence
  2. Choose your example (it doesn't have to be from the same letter of HELP)
  3. Write your explanation
  4. Connect it back to the thesis
  5. Make sure you have a Topic Sentence that covers what you’ve been talking about

Conclusion (Call To Action)

There are a LOT of ways to do your conclusion, but here's a simple, effective one.
  • "It is for these reasons that the choices we make today do/do not affect our later lives."
Then...a Call to Action. Some of you were very subtle. Some less so.
  • "Think about..."
  • "Consider..."
  • "Next time, be sure to..."
All of these are good Call to Action candidates.
Pick one, and let me know what I should think about, consider, or do next time.
 

Sentence Type Notes

Sentence Structures CLOZE Notes
Instructions: As we go through the lesson, please pay attention to blank spots on this paper. The sentences will match those on the board exactly. Watch for them, and fill in the blanks with the missing information.
4 main sentence structures:
  1. Simple
  2. Compound
  3. Complex
  4. Compound-Complex
We place them in that order because that’s usually the order of understanding for most students.
Simple Sentence
A sentence made up of a subject, along with a verb and an object (called the “predicate”). It’s sometimes called an independent clause.
Suffice to say that a simple sentence says one thing at a time.
That’s what authors use them for.
What it really comes down to is that a simple sentence has one (or more) subjects [the person/thing doing something] doing one (or more) object [the thing or activity they’re doing].
Examples:
  • I went to the store.
  • She and I [multiple subjects] went to the store.
  • I went to the store and the laundromat [multiple objects].
  • She and I [multiple subjects] went to the store and the laundromat [multiple objects].

Simple Sentences Exercise. Write 3 simple sentences all related.

Compound Sentence
A combination sentence created when you combine two simple sentences together, typically with a FANBOYS word: For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So [these are called coordinating conjunctions]
That means that there are at least two subjects, two verbs, and two objects.
Authors typically use compound sentences so that their writing doesn’t seem choppy.
Examples:
  • I went to the store, and I bought some bread.
  • I wanted bread, but I had to go to the store.
  • I have to go to the store, or I won’t be able to make a sandwich.
Note that the comma comes after the first simple sentence EVERY SINGLE TIME.

 

Compound Sentences Exercise. Write 2 compound sentences using your simple sentences. Use different coordinating conjunctions:


Complex Sentences
A combination sentence that contains two simple sentences, but one has been turned into a “dependent clause” by adding an AAAWWUUBBIIS (geez…that’s a heck of an acronym) word.
A “dependent clause” is a simple sentence that has had an AAAWWUUBBIIS word added to it, making it depend on another sentence for context.
These words are: As, After, Although, When, While, Whether, Unless, Until, Because, Before, If, Since; these are called “subordinating conjunctions.”
Authors use complex sentences to show that the information in one simple sentence is related to, and dependent on, another.
Examples [dependent clause is underlined]:
  • When I get tired, I go to bed.
  • I like to drink warm milk before I slip under the covers.
Note that the comma is only used if the dependent clause comes first.
Complex Sentences Exercise. Create 2 Complex Sentences using your Simple Sentences:

Compound-Complex Sentences
A combination sentence that contains three simple sentences, with two of them being standard sentences, and one being a dependent clause.
Authors use these simply for style, as the information COULD typically be handled in two or more sentences, since we already have at least one complex sentence showing necessary relationships
And now, some examples. Note the punctuation [dependent clause underlined, again; complex sentence italicized]:
  • I head to the kitchen, and I drink some warm milk before I go to bed.
  • I head to the kitchen before I go to bed, and I drink some warm milk.
  • Before I go to bed, I head to the kitchen, and I drink some warm milk.
Note that the complex sentence uses the same punctuation as it does when by itself (sometimes with a comma, sometimes without), and that its connection to the other simple sentence ALWAYS uses a comma, since it’s still a compound sentence, though with one complex, and one simple, sentence.
 
Compound-Complex Sentences Exercise. Create 1 compound complex sentence using your simple sentences:

Controversial Organ Transplant Bill Welcomed by WHO

A controversial organ transplant bill expected to become law in the next few weeks could regularize organ transplants and curb Egypt’s booming illicit trade in human organs, experts say.

Hundreds and possibly thousands of poor Egyptians sell their kidneys and livers every year to pay off debts and buy food, making the country a regional “hub” for organ trafficking, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The bill, which is causing controversy among medics, clerics and rights activists, says organs donated from live donors will be restricted to “family members of the fourth degree”, and that the removal of organs without official authorization would be considered first-degree murder and be punishable by death.

Official authorization for organ removal will come from a three-person panel to be established by the Higher Committee for Organ Transplants, a Ministry of Health-affiliated body.

For dead patients, the law stipulates that the panel reach consensus on whether or not the potential donor is dead - an issue on which there is much contention.

Dead or alive?

The consensus in the medical profession is that if a person’s entire brain is dead, the person is dead, even though their heart may continue to beat for a short time. This provides an opportunity to obtain organs while they are still in good condition for transplantation.

Some Muslim clerics and MPs say a person’s heart must stop before he or she can be pronounced dead.

“Apart from this, the law is totally against Islamic law, because man doesn‘t have the right to donate his or her body, which is God‘s after all,” said Mohamed Awadeen, a professor of Islamic law at Al-Azhar University. “The advocates of the new law are lying. Organ donors won’t lead a normal life later on. A man needs kidneys to live normally.”

However, Mohamed Sayed Tantawi, Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar, Sunni Islam's most respected institution, has previously endorsed a brain dead standard.

Law for the wealthy?

Some rights activists have said the new law could exacerbate organ trafficking and turn Egypt into a global market for the organ trade.

“This would only benefit the rich,” said Hafez Abu Saeda, secretary-general of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, Egypt’s leading human rights organization. He said by offering legal cover for organ transplants, the government was turning the poor into sources for human spare parts and offering the rich - in Egypt and beyond - a well stocked market for organs.

Statistics for organ sales and transplants in Egypt do not exist because they are mostly performed clandestinely, but Abu Saeda said his own research suggested hundreds of unlicensed transplants happen every year.

He said some of the richer recipients who did not trust the skills of local doctors took donors with them to China to have transplants.

“Rich people from the Gulf also come here to buy organs. A law like this can be a great affliction in such a poor country,” Abu Saeda said in a recent discussion in Cairo on the law.

“Wonderful step”

“The approval of this law is a wonderful step that creates hope for thousands of patients who have been waiting a long time for life-saving transplant operations. It is also a significant step towards ending illegal organ trafficking, which usually results in operations conducted under unsafe conditions and harms both donor and patient,” Hussein Gezairy, WHO regional director for the Eastern Mediterranean, said in a statement on 20 January.

WHO estimates there are 42,000 people in Egypt in need of transplants.

“Patients have waited too long for this law to come out,” Mahmud el-Motini, a leading liver transplant specialist, told IRIN. “Tens of thousands of Egyptians are in bad need of legislation that enables them to have organ transplants.”

Israeli Organ Donors to Get Transplant Priority

Israel is to become the first country to give donor card carriers a legal right to priority treatment if they should require an organ transplant.

The law has been changed to try to boost donation rates, as there is a shortage for organs for donation.

Partners and close relatives of those with signed donor cards will also move up the queue, The Lancet medical journal reports.

Critics say patients should be treated on the basis of clinical need.

Writing in The Lancet, Professor Jacob Lavee, of the Sheba Medical Centre, one of the leading advocates for the reform, describes Israel's organ donation statistics as "grim".

Only one in 10 adults in Israel carries a donor card. In the UK about one in four adults is on the organ donor register.

In 2006, the Israel National Transplant Council established a special committee, including ethicists, philosophers, religious representatives and transplant surgeons to review the problem.

Their proposal to bring in non-medical criteria for organ allocation required legislation by the Israeli parliament.

Under the planned point-based system, people who have signed a donor card will be given priority for a transplant.

Their partners and other close relatives will also qualify.

However, there will be no preference for live donors who give to a chosen recipient rather than the wider waiting list.

Urgent cases

Patients requiring an urgent transplant because of their serious condition will continue to have priority, regardless of the new points-scheme.

But if there are two people in this situation who are equally suitable for a donated organ, the priority system will come into play.

Professor Lavee said the new policy "provides an incentive for individuals to agree to help each other".

But he acknowledged that it violated the principle of "true altruism", and the "ideal" of care being provided solely according to medical need.

However, he concluded that this was a price worth paying.

He said: "If this policy results in the procurement of more organs for transplantation, then it promotes a different but nonetheless important goal of medicine - achievement of maximum health."

Misgivings

Dr Vivienne Nathanson, head of science and ethics at the British Medical Association, voiced strong misgivings.

"We would have serious concerns about a system that would move away from treating patients on the basis of clinical need," she said.

"Once you start prioritising certain groups, for example those that sign up to the organ register, patients who are really sick and in danger of dying if they don't receive an organ may end up being pushed to the back of the queue".

And Mubeen Bhutta, Policy Manager at the British Heart Foundation, said: "This interesting new law in Israel highlights the challenges facing countries around the world seeking to increase the availability of donated organs.

"However, it is important that donated organs are available for those who need them most.

Presumed consent

The BMA and BHF both support the introduction of presumed consent, where instead of opting into donation by signing a register - as happens in the UK - people would be required to state if they did not want their organs to be used for transplantation.

This approach also has the strong backing of the Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Sir Liam Donaldson, who announced this week that he would step down from the post next May.

"I would love to see presumed consent on organs," he said.

"This prissiness about the idea of giving organs to somebody after you have died - I think it's something that's not supported by the public."

The Department of Health in England says the UK's organ donation system has to ensure that patients are treated equally and fairly, based on their need and the importance of achieving the closest possible match.

A spokesman said: "More people are signing up to the organ donor register than ever before but, despite this, three people die every day while waiting for a transplant and more donors are needed.

"We aim to see donor rates increase from 800 donors to 1,400 donors per year by March 2013, and 20 million people on the organ donor register by 2010, working towards 25 million by 2013."

Preparations for the new policy in Israel will start in the new year with a publicity campaign.

The new arrangements will come into force in January 2011, with priority going to all those who have had a signed donor card for at least a year.

California, New York Mull Changes to Organ Donor Laws

(CNN) -- A California bill may soon create a living donor registry -- the first for any state.

Spurred by Apple co-founder and transplant recipient Steve Jobs, the bill has gained support from major politicos, including California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and is expected to land on his desk this summer.

Meanwhile, on the East Coast, a far more sweeping transplant bill would make every person an organ donor who doesn't opt out. This would create an organ donation system in New York similar to the ones used in several European countries, but the measure is already facing opposition.

The two states have vastly different bills, but their intents are the same.

With more than 100,000 U.S. patients waiting for organ transplants, better methods of encouraging organ donations are needed, supporters say.

A New York assemblyman whose daughter's life was saved by two kidney transplants said he wants more organ donations. One of Assemblyman Richard Brodksy's most controversial ideas: Make everyone an organ donor unless the individual opts out.

This is also known as “presumed consent” – a marked departure from what's done in the United States. Several European countries, such as Spain, France, and the Netherlands operate on this concept. Brodsky said this would save more lives.

“We can trust the decency of the American people,” Brodsky said. “But the government needs to come up with a program that lets people express that decency. That's what's missing – a connection between the fundamental goodness of the American people and a system that is not producing the organs that save lives.”

Every year, 500 New Yorkers die waiting for an organ transplant, he said.

Another one of Brodsky's bills would prevent relatives from overriding organ donation decisions made by the deceased.

He became inspired by his 18-year-old daughter, Willie Brodsky, who had transplants because of an autoimmune disease.

While sympathizing with Brodsky's perspective, Tarris Rosell, a chairman at the Center for Practical Bioethics in Kansas City, Kansas, said presumed consent infringes on individual's rights.

“The saving of life is a deep, American value, but in this sort of situation, such as presumed consent, it goes up against other American values, like right to privacy, even property rights, which begins with our bodies and a deeply inscribed individualism,” he said.

Some religious and cultural beliefs value the integrity of the body and oppose organ donations, he added.

United Network for Organ Sharing, a nonprofit organization that administers the nation's organ matching and placement process, does not support presumed consent, because of “inadequate safeguards for protecting the individual autonomy of prospective donors.”

These recent proposals in New York and California do not mean that public opinion toward organ donations is changing, said Sheldon Kurtz, a law professor at the University of Iowa who has drafted organ donation legislation.

“You can't assume because bills are pending that public opinions have changed,” he said.