By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
Several days ago I received a phone call from Sharon Kirkey who was writing an article concerning the practice of organ donation after assisted death, an article that was published in the National Post. Kirkey asked me my thoughts on whether organ donation would occur after assisted death? It is interesting that she didn't include any of my quotes in the article. I said:
Sharon, you are asking the wrong question. Any person who signs their organ donor card and who dies by assisted death would be eligible for organ donation.
I then said to her:
The real question is whether or not, in the future, organ donation and assisted death will be coupled.
There was some silence on the other end of the phone. I continued.
If a person has signed their organ donor card and if they have been approved for assisted death, why wouldn't the organs be donated? Once assisted death becomes more common, why wouldn't they remove the organs before lethal injection? Death by lethal injection and death by removal of vital organs is the same thing, simply done in a different way.
Sharon questioned me further and I said:
My concern is that in the future euthanasia will be sold to the public as "good for society."
By coupling organ donation with assisted death, new social pressure will be created for people with healthy organs who are living with disabilities, depression or chronic conditions. They will be subtly encouraged to "voluntarily" die by "assisted death" for the "common good."
Whether I like it or not, if "assisted death" becomes legal, organ donation will soon be subtly promoted as a "good outcome" of assisted death and later become overtly promoted especially for people who are living with disabilities, depression, or chronic illnesses. The healthiest organs make for the best transplants.