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Harvesting organs after euthanasia

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Doctors have already harvested organs from dozens of Canadians who
underwent medically assisted death.

In Ontario, 26 people who died by lethal injection have donated tissue or organs
since the federal law decriminalizing medical assistance in dying, or MAID, came
into effect last June, according to information obtained by the Post. A total
of 338 have died by medical assistance in the province.

Bioethicists and transplant experts say people who qualify for assisted dying
deserve to be offered the chance to donate their organs.
Could the decision for one DRIVE the decision for the other?


Ethicists say organ donation could put pressure on those who qualify for
assisted suicide to choose death, that the terminally ill “may feel they
would better SERVE society by dying and saving other people’s lives,”
Dr. Marie-Chantal Fortin, a transplant nephrologist at the Centre hospitalier
de l’Universite de Montreal, and ethicist Julie Allard write in the journal,
Clinical Ethics.

Others are asking, what if people agree to donate, but then change their mind
about hastening death? Would they feel compelled to follow through with the
act, knowing the chosen recipients are waiting for their organs.

The issue is so volatile, after Fortin and her co-author concluded organ
donation after assisted dying would be ethically acceptable if the person
is competent and under no pressure to choose either, for those opposed to
euthanasia, “it was like we were vultures,” she said.

“I think it’s really important we keep the public’s trust, in all of this,”
Fortin said. “We have to be transparent. And it has to be clear that the
two must be kept separate, that there is no pressure to go for MAID to
procure organs.” 21/03/17