Canada Embraces Euthanasia ‘Kill and Harvest’

By Wesley J. Smith

Canada has enthusiastically embraced euthanasia and all of its implications.

For example, following the crassly utilitarianism of Belgium and the Netherlands, the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association has published guidelines — written by a “blue ribbon panel,” don’t you know! — to govern when organ donation follows death by lethal injection euthanasia, a bureaucratic procedure that I bluntly call “kill and harvest.”

The media is all in. Recently, the Globe and Mail published a story extolling the idea — and now a medical writer for the CBC named Dr. Brian Goldman has endorsed kill and harvest.

But it is interesting, Goldman sees the protocol — that requires euthanasia before organ procurement — as merely a “first step.” Where might we expect the ever so nice Canadians to go from there? It’s not pretty. From, “Organ Donation After Medical Assistance in Dying Offers Possibilities”:

A new approach discussed in the commentary makes possible organ donation after MAID at home. The death occurs at home after which anesthesia drugs and life support are used to maintain the body during transport to hospital for organ donation.

In other words, the patient would be killed — and then resuscitated — not to save his life but maintain the viability of the organs.

Here’s the second idea:

Some experts have proposed that patients be permitted to consent to what’s called organ donation euthanasia. This involves putting the patient under anesthesia followed by getting the organs ready for removal. The doctors would then use potassium chloride to stop the heart, following which the organs would be removed.

This controversial approach could potentially make all organs including the lungs and the heart available to would-be recipients.

While we are discussing turning transplant doctors into killers, it is worth noting that an article published in New England Journal of Medicine in 2018 went even farther than the two proposals Goldman discussed, that is, to arguing that the killing itself should be accomplished by the organ harvesting. Nor is that the not the only such proposal published recently by a mainstream medical journal.

Goldman believes it is “unlikely” that these next steps will gain widespread support in the near future. Baloney. Canada has already determined to treat those who want to die — many of whom would live months or years but for being lethally injected — like so many organ farms. That’s the hard ethical hurdle. Given the speed and enthusiasm with which most of Canada has embraced euthanasia, I predict one or more of these crass proposals will be accepted by our northern neighbors within five years.

Editor’s note. Wesley’s great columns appear at National Review Online and are reposted with the author’s permission.