Monday, March 20, 2017

Doctors harvesting organs from Canadian patients who underwent medically assisted death

THE NATIONAL POST | Sharon Kirkey

Getty Images / iStock

Doctors have already harvested organs from dozens of Canadians who underwent medically assisted death, a practice supporters say expands the pool of desperately needed organs, but ethicists worry could make it harder for euthanasia patients to voice a last-minute change of heart.

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.

Most of the 26 were tissue donors, which usually involves eyes, skin, heart valves, bones and tendons.

Bioethicists and transplant experts say people who qualify for assisted dying deserve to be offered the chance to donate their organs. The gesture could bring a profound sense of psychological comfort, they say, provided the request for assisted death and the decision to donate are kept entirely separate. Continue reading


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