By Nancy Valko
This excellent article by Michael Cook titled “Everybody’s a Winner When Euthanasia Combines with Organ Donation, Says Doctors” is a must read for anyone concerned about ethics and healthcare.
Several Dutch and Belgian doctors have proposed legal reforms to increase the popularity of combining euthanasia and organ donation in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Writing in the Journal of Medical Ethics, they report valuable unpublished information about the prevalence of the procedure. So far, it has been performed only about 40 times in the two countries. However, there is “a persisting discrepancy between the number of organ donors and the number of patients on the waiting lists for transplantation” – which euthanasia patients could help to balance.
When Jack Kevorkian removed the kidneys of one of his victims and offered them for transplantation in 1998, the world was stunned and horrified. Transplant surgeons refused the organs at that time, but the reasons given in news articles had less to do with the ethics than with the concerns over the viability of the organs and the harvesting technique of the organ itself!
By 2003, the prestigious journal Critical Care Medicine published an article by Drs. Robert D. Troug and Walter M. Robinson in which they stated “We propose that individuals who desire to donate their organs and who are either neurologically devastated or imminently dying should be allowed to donate their organs, without first being declared dead“. Emphasis added
Don’t assume that legalized organ donation euthanasia can’t happen here in the US when the public has already been softened up by the “right” to choose medically assisted suicide for years.
(This is an excerpt from a longer article by Nancy Valko, republished with her permission.)