According to a new international report, a growing number of so-called patients in Canada who opt for so-called “medical assistance in dying” (MAID) are donating organs for transplant. Canada is one of four countries that allow the practice, and in 2021, 6% of all transplants from deceased donors came from MAID victims.
While some celebrate this as a way to turn death into an altruistic “win-win,” allowing MAID patients to donate organs incentivizes doctors to forsake medical ethics and exploit patients. In other countries, patients must first broach the subject of donation, but in Quebec and Ontario, doctors can bring it up first.
This is incredibly problematic. Doctors are effectively encouraged to treat patients as a source of material, rather than as dignified, embodied persons they’ve sworn not to harm. People aren’t machines with parts to be salvaged for profit. This is just one more way that so-called Medical Assistance in Dying is a lose-lose for the integrity of medicine and the dignity of image bearers.
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