Coupling EUTHANASIA with Organ Donation

Me

A 2008 issue of the journal Transplant International highlighted the case of a woman in Belgium who was completely paralyzed (“locked in”) but fully aware.  She requested a lethal injection and asked that her organs be harvested after her death. Doctors agreed. They wrote:

This case of two separate requests, first euthanasia and second, organ donation after death, demonstrates that organ harvesting after euthanasia may be considered and accepted from ethical, legal, and practical viewpoints in countries where euthanasia is legally accepted. This possibility may increase the number of transplantable organs

Robert D. Truog, M.D., Franklin G. Miller, Ph.D., and Scott D. Halpern, M.D., Ph.D., who are unconvinced that “brain death” is really death, in a 2013 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, presented a chilling solution:  “Creation of legal exceptions to our homicide laws” to permit donation by patients who desire “to die in the manner of their own choosing.”

What is this? Euthanasia? Assisted suicide? Murder?