Organ Donation Euthanasia

002 (2)Dominic Wilkinson, consultant Neonatologist and Medical Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, and John Radcliff Hospital-Oxford and Julian Savulescu, Professor of Practical Ethics at Oxford, published “Should We Allow Organ Donation Euthanasia?” in January 2012.

Dr. Savulescu completed his PhD at Monash University under the supervision of Peter Singer, which may go a long way to explain his justification of euthanasia.  In previous publications, Savulescu has argued that if embryonic stem research involves the killing of a person, it is justified for the “greater good.”

Thousands of patients die each year waiting for transplantation because there are not enough organs available so Wilkinson and Savulescu have discovered several different methods to elevate the problem.

According to the professors,   “it is widely accepted that in the face of extremely poor prognosis, it is permissible to withdraw life support from organ donors or potential organ donors and allow these patients to die” just as it is permissible to not provide life support.

 “Why should surgeons have to wait until a patient is brain-dead.  An alternative would be to anesthetized the patient, remove the organs, including heart and lungs.  No patient would die who would not otherwise had died and more hearts and lungs would be available.”

They are also advocating Cardiac Euthanasia where surgeons would administer anesthesia and cardiopelegic agents and remove vital organs after cessation of circulation.  Then there is the Nuro-Euthanasia by occlusion of blood vessels to the brain but that requires waiting until the patient is brain-dead before removing organs.

An improvement to the process would be Organ Donation Euthanasia (ODE) which allows patients the greatest opportunity to help their fellow-man while reducing the chance that they will suffer while dying.  ODE will allow doctors to “harvest” functioning organs more quickly thereby saving more lives.

Then they pitch their justification for ignoring the  Kantian rule that prohibits using people merely as a means to an end.  “If people wish for their organs to be donated, transplantation respects their autonomous will and hence does not use them as a mere means.  Indeed, by respecting their autonomous wishes it treats them as an end in themselves.”

For those patients who have not expressed a desire to die early so they can give their organs to another patient, it is usually left up to the patients family’s preference for the terminal care of their loved ones.  “The family’s wishes are usually respected in such cases, though it is far from clear that this is either ethically or legally justified.”

These men also seem to think it is justifiable to remove non-essential organs from a living patient.  They also argue that there are some situations where it is permissible to reject the “dead rule” whereby vital organs can not be removed from a patient until they are brain-dead.  In the case where  a patient is permanently unconscious or in a permanent vegetative state or anencephalic infants, vitals organs could be removed because the patients have no prospect of regaining consciousness and continued life wouldn’t benefit them.

Mary Warnock, Britain’s leading bioethicists and euthanasia cheerleader says that “sometimes death is more desirable than life.”  Apparently some doctors in Belgium agree.  In 2010 30% of reported euthanasia cases were carried out without consent of the patient, usually those over the age of 80, most undergoing medical treatment for an illness where death was not an inevitable result.

When a practice becomes legal, accepted and widely practiced in society, people cease to have strong feelings about it.  This was most dramatically demonstrated in Nazi Germany.  In July 1949, the  New England Medical Journal wrote: ‘The beginnings at first were merely a subtle shift in emphasis in the basic attitude of the physicians. It started with the attitude, basic in the euthanasia movement that there is such a thing as a life not worthy to be lived. This attitude in its early stages concerned itself merely with the severely and chronically sick. Gradually the sphere of those to be included in this category was enlarged to encompass the socially unproductive, the ideologically unwanted, the racially unwanted and finally all non-Germans.’

The conscience of those doctors and the German people became numbed  to death.   Just as we’re becoming callous to the murder of innocent unborn children, someday we may also accept  the murder of the elderly, the disabled, and those not wanted by polite society.

Once voluntary euthanasia or euthanasia “for the greater good”  has been  accepted and legalized (under ObamaCare), it will  lead inevitably to involuntary euthanasia,  regardless of the intentions of the law.

Every living being on this planet has value, whether it be an unborn or new-born child, a Senior citizen, the disabled, the terminally ill.    Human life must be treated with respect and dignity.

“It is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and defending the right to life, upon which all the other inalienable rights of individuals are founded and from which they develop.  A society lacks solid foundations when, on the one hand, it asserts values such as the dignity of the person, justice and peace, but then, on the other hand, radically acts to the contrary by allowing or tolerating a variety of ways in which  human life is devalued and violated, especially where it is weak or marginalized.  Only respect for life can be the foundation and guarantee of the most precious and essential goods of society, such as democracy and peace.”  Pope John Paul II

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