Critical Reading – Bill Brooks

Should organ donation be made compulsory?

  • The title itself leaves the viewer to ponder the implications of this question as the video buffers
  • It is asking a moral question and has several claims within the title
  • “organ donation” is placed only a few words before the word “compulsory” which seem to contradict each other
  • The claim being made here is that organ donation should not be made compulsory just by definition of the word donation


0:04 after the production logo and intro, the first thing we hear is that he knew he needed an organ donation.

  • This makes it seem like the video is going to answer “yes” to the title
  • He makes the claim that his life was running out very rapidly, which again makes the viewer believe that this video is dedicated to making organ donation compulsory
  • He is also setting up his story so that the viewer will automatically trust his point of view because he has gone through it first hand


0:15 then the question itself is posed on screen via text

  • The claim here is that the following answer is going to be made by this one individual alone and because of the previous set up his answer will be well informed and is implied that it will be correct


0:17 the man faces the camera and states that he in fact got the transplant that he had previously stated he needed

  • Again this points to the fact that he has been through it therefore he will have the correct answer


0:21 he states directly that he does not think organ donation should be compulsory

  • This is where the video takes its turn, because the statement that he does not think that organ donation should be compulsory is immediately proceeded by the fact that he received an organ transplant, it subtly claims that there must be something very wrong with compulsory organ donations if a man who was saved by one opposes them.


0:24-1:30 he proceeds to tell the story of how he waited two and a half years to get the transplant and the anxiety he felt as well as his gratitude

  • However precisely at 1:23 he makes what I feel is the strongest claim thus far and possibly the strongest in the entire video
  • A claim of just one word “consciously”
  • This single word claim has enormous implications.  Because he says that “the donors consciously chose to give us the gift of life” (us referring to himself and other donors)
  • This claim is extremely important because it not only aligns itself with the contradictory nature of the title but it also explains why a compulsory donation is not the right thing to do, because it is not a conscious willing decision to give, as Mr. Lewington says, the gift of life
  • He claims that the element of the gift itself is the most important thing and sets up his rhetoric to make the viewer see compulsory donations as he does, almost stealing the life from someone’s body.
This entry was posted in Critical Reading SP19, In Class Exercise. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Critical Reading – Bill Brooks

  1. davidbdale says:

    How I love a one-word claim! Well done, Bill. I still think the guy’s dead wrong, but you support his reasoning reasonably.
    Grade Recorded.

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