(It should go without saying, but the following is parody. Sadly, it is only a slight exaggeration of recent events.)
The Guardian newspaper reported today that it has obtained a top secret document describing a government program to harvest the organs of ordinary Americans for use in transplants to the family members of corporate CEOs, military leaders, and ex-presidents.
Under the program, when a medical professional certifies that an eligible patient needs a new organ, an American is selected at random from a pool of potential donors, limited to healthy individuals with an annual income below $150,000. A special forces team with advanced medical training is dispatched to harvest the organ, using sophisticated methods to ensure that the donor is completely unaware that a procedure has been performed.
Critics assert that the program is an abuse of government power. However, as the Washington Post reports, President Obama has defended the program, “saying that it was a modest encroachment on privacy and one he thinks is both lawful and justified” in order to ensure the unfettered access of essential leaders to lifesaving procedures. The organs subject to harvesting are strictly limited to kidneys, livers, and bone marrow. Hearts and lungs are now harvested only under “extraordinary circumstances.”
The New York Times provides further details of the president’s views. “The programs, he said, were authorized by Congress and regularly reviewed by federal courts….Mr. Obama acknowledged that he had hesitations when he inherited the program from George W. Bush, but told reporters that he soon became convinced of its necessity.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid weighed in as well: “Right now I think everyone should just calm down and understand that this isn’t brand new. It’s been going on for some seven years.”
An official at the Department of Health and Human Services, granted anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the subject, pointed to numerous successes: “Thanks to this program, the wife of a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is alive today. Think of the harm to national security if the work of the Joint Chiefs had been needlessly distracted at this critical time by a prolonged terminal illness. And do you realize how many of our Job Creators have children with defective organs?”
The president declares “I welcome this debate. And I think it’s healthy for our democracy.” That is why the person who leaked the existence of the program, when found, will be placed on the program’s “preemptive harvesting” list.