Assisted Suicide and Organ Harvesting: A Ghoulish—But Not Surprising—Proposal

When does allowing someone to die turn into encouraging someone to die? Always.

Last November, Colorado became the sixth state to legalize physician-assisted suicide. It was and is a terrible idea.

Among the arguments my colleague John Stonestreet and others made was the fact that the so-called “safeguards” in these kinds of laws are illusions. Experience in Europe shows that once you concede the principle that some lives are not worth living, the definition of what kinds of lives are not worth living expands.

As one Belgian law professor put it, “What is presented at first as a right [to die] is going to become a kind of obligation.”

Proponents of physician-assisted suicide dismiss these arguments as “alarmist” and deny that any such thing could happen.

And then, it happens.

Case in point: Last month, Julie Allard and Marie Chantal-Fortin, ethicists at the University of Montreal, argued that the organs of those who submit to physician-assisted suicide shouldn’t go to waste.

Writing in the Quebec Journal of Medical Ethics, Allard and Chantal-Fortin said that “MAID (medical aid in dying) has the potential to provide additional organs available for transplantation. Accepting to procure organ donation after MAID is a way to respect the autonomy of patients, for whom organ donation is an important value.”

The words “autonomy” and “important value” are window dressing for this ghoulish proposal. And I mean “ghoulish” in the original sense of monsters who live in graveyards and consume human flesh.

While in this case the consumption takes the form of organ transplantation, in both instances the most vulnerable members of our society are viewed as potential forms of sustenance for the rest of us.

Think of the Planned Parenthood videos: Human beings, made in the image of God, treated as the flesh-and-blood equivalent of a coal mine.

And in case you think that Allard and Chantal-Fortin are wacky outliers, think again. In May of last year, both Transplant Quebec, which coordinates the organ donor process in the province, and an ethics committee of the Quebec government took similar positions.

Source: Eric Metaxas,