In this paper, I explore under what circumstances it might be morally acceptable to transplant organs from a patient lacking capacity. I argue, with a developed hypothetical based around a mother and son, that (1) ‘Best interests’ should be interpreted broadly to include the interests that people have previously expressed in the well-being of others. It could, therefore, be in the ‘best interests’ of an unconscious patient to donate a non-vital organ to a family member. (2) Further expanding upon this case, and developing a variation on the ‘trolley problems’ I argue that where it is inevitable that an incapacitous patient is going to die—and specifically when it has been agreed through the courts that a patient in a permanent vegetative state is going to have clinically assisted nutrition and hydration withdrawn (with the inevitable consequence of death, and causing desiccation of the organs such that they are no longer able to be donated)—it could be in a patient’s best interests to actively end their life with a drug that would stop the heart both to minimise potential suffering and in order to be able to have vital organs donated. I argue that in this case the strict adherence to the distinction between acts and omissions is not in the patient’s best interests and should be reconsidered.More.
Belgium and the Netherlands are doing it now:
Euthanasia was legalized in Belgium in 2002. It took six years for the first known coupling of euthanasia and organ harvesting, the case of a woman in a “locked in” state — fully paralyzed but also fully cognizant. After doctors agreed to her request to be lethally injected, she asked that her organs be harvested after she died. Doctors agreed.
The idea of coupling euthanasia with organ harvesting and medical experimentation was promoted years ago by the late Jack Kevorkian, but it is now becoming mainstream. Last year, the Oxford bioethicist Julian Savulescu coauthored a paper in Bioethics arguing that some could be euthanized, “at least partly to ensure that their organs could be donated.” Belgian doctors, in particular, are openly discussing the nexus between euthanasia and organ harvesting. A June 10 press release from Pabst Science Publishers cited four lung transplants in Leuven from donors who died by euthanasia.
What’s more, Belgian doctors and bioethicists now travel around Europe promoting the conjoining of the two procedures at medical seminars. Their PowerPoint presentation touts the “high quality” of organs obtained from patients after euthanasia of people with degenerative neuro/muscular disabilities.
Reality check: It’s too bad that our “progressive” Conservatives are so useless. (Hey! We got a girllll! In charge). A vote for Baby J’s* Liberals is a vote for euthanasia as our pension plan. Never mind, there are way cooler people than us who could use the organs. And just wait til the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down all laws against it, like ours did. These trends are not stoppable except by massive public revolt against them, but that is not going to happen in an age when government buys people their smokes and their toilet paper. We need to take counsel privately.
* US. Diplomatic corps term for Justin Trudeau. As in “Baby Doc?”
See also: A tale of Planned Parenthood Part I
Live baby body parts defended by righteous rage bunnies
Hat tip: Lifesite News