The Corner

Push to Euthanize by Organ Harvesting

In 1993, my first anti-euthanasia article published in Newsweek, warned that if society ever embraced assisted suicide, we would eventually couple medicalized killing with organ harvesting “as a plum to society.”

That is now happening in Netherlands and Belgium, where doctors are on the lookout for mentally ill and people with neuromuscular disabilities who want to be killed and harvested.

An article written by a gaggle of Netherlander doctors and medical professors in the Journal of Medical Ethics, now suggests taking the next step of directly harvesting-to-death sick, disabled, and mentally ill suicidal people (all eligible for euthanasia in both countries) without bothering with the lethal injection beforehand. From the article:

The dead donor rule states that donation should not cause or hasten death. Since a patient undergoing euthanasia has chosen to die, it is worth arguing that the no-touch time (depending on the protocol) could be skipped, limiting the warm ischemia time and contributing to the quality of the transplanted organs.

It is even possible to extend this argument to a ‘heart-beating organ donation euthanasia’ where a patient is sedated, after which his organs are being removed, causing death. 

Both options are currently legally not allowed

So this is where we are morally in Western society: A respected bioethics journal, published under the auspices of the British Medical Association, no less–can bloodlessly discuss changing the law to permit putting patients under anesthesia and killing them by direct organ removal–and there is nary a note of protest.

Allow me: There could be nothing more cruel and abandoning to despairing people than telling them their voluntary deaths have greater value than their continuing lives.

Oh, one thing: Pushing society to think that too.

The culture of death corrupts and corrodes societal morality, medical ethics, family relations, and common decency–indeed, everything it touches.

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