The Corner

Pushing Euthanasia and Organ Donation for Canada

When Canada’s Supreme Court imposed a nation-wide euthanasia regime without a terminal illness requirement, I warned that it wouldn’t be long before bioethicists pushed to conjoin medicalized homicide with organ harvesting.

Advocacy for such a course has now begun. In the Journal of Medical Ethics. From “Organ Donation After Medical Assistance in Dying…” (MAID):

MAID has the potential to provide additional organs available for transplantation. Accepting to procure organ donation after MAID is a way to respect the autonomy of patients, for whom organ donation is an important value. Organ donation after MAID would be ethically acceptable if the patient who has offered to donate is competent and not under any external pressure to choose MAID or organ donation. 

The bioethicists even suggest that it would be acceptable if the the organ harvest: was the cause of death:

Living organ donation before MAID or death by procurement of organs would provide higher quality organs that would last longer and consequently reduce the organ shortage. Both strategies respect the donor’s autonomy, but neither is a better option than organ donation after MAID in terms of public trust or patient suffering.

This is very dangerous–and could mean that mentally ill and disabled patients who want euthanasia are implicitly or explicitly targeted for organ harvesting by doctors–as currently in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Taking organs from those being killed also gives a huge utilitarian stake for euthanasia to society generally–beyond the current incentive of saving medical resources.

I warned this would happen in Newsweek back in 1993–before any jurisdiction other than Switzerland had legalized assisted suicide and euthanasia.

At the time, I was called an alarmist. No, I’m logical.

Once a society accepts the tenets of euthanasia consciousness, sooner or later, the rest follows like the onset of winter and birds flying south.

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

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