Organ Donation After Transplantation

Recently, Oxford bioethicists Julian Savulescu and and Dominic Wilkinson argue that euthanasia coupled with organ harvesting would be an ethicaly appropriate way to obtain more kidneys, livers, and hearts. This point of view “Should We Allow Organ Donation Euthanasia?” was published in Bioethics and since then many blogs have voiced extreme criticisms. Apparently, this idea is not just an idea, as it has already been performed in Belgian where euthanasia is legal, please see: Ysebaert D, et.al. Organ Procurement After Euthanasia: Blegian Experience. Transplantation Proceedings, 2009; 41:585, which describes the experience involving 4 patients who expressed their wish for organ donation after their request for euthanasia was granted.

Question to consider:

How is the process of organ donation after a decision for euthanasia different from the process of organ donation after a decision has been made to withdraw life sustaining treatments from a terminally ill comatose patient?

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