Politics & Policy

The Corner

Canada Conjoining Euthanasia/Organ Donation

In my first anti-euthanasia column, published in Newsweek in 1993, I warned that eventually medicalized killing/suicide would be conjoined with organ harvesting “as a plum to society.”

Slippery slope argument!” my detractors yelled at me. “Alarmist!” It will never happen!” You get the drift.

Of course, it did happen. In Belgium doctors kill disabled and mentally ill people and once dead, with consent, their bodies are harvested. Ditto, the Netherlands. 

Then, some of the same detractors who called me alarmist, changed their tune to applaud the conjoining, because you know, CHOICE! After all, they want to die, so why not let society receive the plum?

When Canada’s Supreme Court imposed a nation-wide euthanasia right on the country and most Canadians enthusiastically swallowed that hemlock policy, I warned that our northern neighbors would soon join the crowd. 

I thought it would require an explicit law. It didn’t, and it is not only happening, but the medical establishment is working to make it more common. From the CBC story:

The medical system is working through logistical issues and ethical concerns that don’t come up for non-MAID [“medical assistance in dying,” Canada’s euphemism for lethal injection euthanasia] donors.

For one thing, the dying process becomes more medicalized. Patients need to undergo sometimes uncomfortable and inconvenient medical tests to see if their tissues and organs are viable for transplant.

If someone is getting medical assistance in dying and wants to donate their organs, they have to be in a transplant-capable hospital, close to an operating room.

‘We’re trying to reduce the impact of organ donation on the last few hours of their life. We want it to be a time they enjoy with their friends and family and leaves everyone with lasting memories, not of a hospital,’ says Dr. Adrian Robertson, medical director of Transplant Manitoba’s Gift of Life program. (Lyzaville Sale/CBC)…

“Most patients would prefer to die at home,” Robertson says. “So this is an extra burden to the patient. That’s explained to them, and in some ways signifies their interest in donation that they’re willing to forgo that part of the beauty of medical assistance in dying and take on this extra burden of donation.”

Part of the burden could be refraining from alcohol and recreational drugs, which would be part of the assessment and consent process.

This is awful. These people should be given suicide prevention services. At the very least, nothing should be done that would encourage the decision to be killed.

Instead, conjoining organ donation with being killed sends the insidious and subversive message that the deaths of these patients have greater value than their lives.

It will get even worse when Canada explicitly joins Netherlands/Belgium to allow psychiatric patients to be killed by their doctors. Yes, yes, I know: “Alarmist! Slippery Slope arguer! It will never happen!” 

Then, when it all comes to pass: ”That’s GOOD, because, you know, CHOICE!”

Wesley J. Smith — Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.

Most Popular

Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More