The Corner

Belgian Doctors Brag About Harvesting Organs From the Euthanized

My first anti-euthanasia article, published in Newsweek in 1993, warned that one day euthanasia would be coupled with organ harvesting “as a plum to society.” Over the years, I was chided as an alarmist. But it didn’t take the Belgians long after legalizing euthanasia for doctors to do just that, and now they brag about it at medical symposia. Most of the euthanized and harvested were not terminally ill, but disabled. One had a mental illness.

I can think of few things more frightening than giving a disabled person, who may be struggling to find meaning in life, looking to organ donation as means of finding seeming greater “meaning” in their death. And what such crassly utilitarianism will do to society’s attitudes toward people with serious disabilities and mental illnesses is also on my “worry front burner.”

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