Robert Hay: “From the too crazy to be true file, it looks like there is a new solution to the organ shortage. Reported by BioEdge, com, a British professor has published a paper that argues the best way to find enough organs for the transplant waiting list in this country is to euthanize terminally ill patients.
Professor Julian Savulescu’s reasoning goes like this. Four hundred and fifty people die every year in Britain waiting for an organ transplant. The paper argues that terminally ill or life support patients have working organs that are ideal for the transplant process, and if those patients are near death anyway it logically makes sense that their organs can be put to better use immediately. Of course, potential organ donaters would have to sign a consent form before entering their vegetative or unresponsive state, as to avoid looking as if doctors are killing off patients just to use their organs. They estimate the procedures could produce 2,200 organs annually.
Savulescu and his coauthor acknowledge that euthanasia has a negative connotation in society but argue that euthanizing patients to save other patients’ lives could put it in a more positive light. “But if we can save even one life, that is something of great moral importance,” they write.
Sadly, the author is also the editor of the British journal Bioethics.”