Canada is Harvesting the Organs of Euthanasia Patients

Samantha Gobba – March 31, 2017

A recent push in Canada to encourage euthanasia patients to donate their organs is working.

In Ontario, the first province to report data, 26 people who died by lethal injection decided to donate tissue or organs since the Medical Aid in Dying Act (MAID) came into effect last June, according to the National Post. A total of 388 people have chosen to die by lethal injection in Ontario, over half of the 744 total Canadians who have been euthanized.

Proponents of linking organ harvesting to euthanasia point to the shortage of organ transplants readily available and the lower cost associated with euthanasia than with end-of-life care.

Canadian ethicists Julie Allard and Marie-Chantal Fortin encouraged the joining of euthanasia with organ harvesting in an article in December’s Journal of Medical Ethics.

But even supporters acknowledge the potential unintended consequences. Allard and Fortin warned in their article that encouraging organ harvesting could put pressure on those diagnosed with terminal illness to consider assisted suicide as an alternative sense of purpose.

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