Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Just What We Need: Organ Donation Euthanasia

Just when you think the pro-deathers have outdone themselves with outlandish suggestions that eventually morph into policy, something more troubling appears. Oxford’s radical Julian Savulescu has been making pro-death pronouncements for years under the guise of academic “bioethical” scholarship.

However, Savulescu’s arguments (like Peter Singer’s) are rather rudimentary, completely utilitarian, and unashamedly macabre.

For several years now, under the radar, and lead by Savulescu, there as been a bioethical stream of thought kicking around novel ideas about how to separate patients from their organs before they are dead.

Generally, donor organs are only removed from patients once the patient has been declared dead evidenced by irreversible stoppage of the heart. This takes at least several minutes, and is a major problem because organs begin to deteriorate the moment the heart ceases pumping blood around the body.

So, what’s a good medical and bioethical profession to do?

Well, take the underground idea of taking the organs before the patient has been declared dead, clothe it in civic-minded do-good-you-owe-it-to-your-fellow-man hyperbole, and start to twist broader public opinion to accept medical killing as a good thing.

Start the propaganda by writing a scholarly paper in a reputable journal to present killing patients as a meaningful, profound, and absolutely appropriate thing to do.

Yes, folks, make us think that removing all donatable organs from living people is cool.

Except for the poor patient, of course, who dies because their organs have disappeared into a cooler for someone else.

I’m not making this up. Wish I were.

Unsurprisingly, Savulescu’s rationale is the same old same old:
The patient is going to die anyway.
We’ll put “safeguards” in place so the system is not abused.
Just think how many people can be helped if we do this.
Think how many people will not be helped if we don’t.
And, yes, of course, we’ll do our best to convince people on their deathbeds that this is for the larger good.
And oh, by the way, we’ll give you anesthetic before we kill you and take your organs. You won’t feel a thing.
A win-win all around, no?

Beyond frightening.

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