Combining organ donation and medical assistance in death: considering the ethical questions

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  • Casey says:

    Euthanasia is clearly a deeply personal issue as well as a controversial one. However, a line needs to be drawn, focusing on those that have terminal illnesses or are in an inevitable decline towards death. The woman interviewed is a shockingly irresponsible illustration of what would qualify. It’s very sad she’s had strokes, but there are resources to help survivors gain back independence and improve cognitive abilities. It’s not a death sentence and people recover. Many stroke survivors suffer from depression and suicide can be an issue – why would a journalist effectively use this for an argument on euthanasia? I’m surprised this article was published.

  • Nonya says:

    Who can I contact about becoming a donor? I live in the usa? Is there anyway my children can get paid for my organs? That way they can pay for my cremation without causing any more burden on them.

  • Anonymous says:

    What I noticed about this article is that it is mostly about MAID, it talks about other items but MAID is it main topic. I would like to recommend that I personally would like this article to go more in depth about other items, and if your not then name it something else like something about MAID.

  • Anonymous says:

    If it was an option to have an assisted death I would donate everything tomorrow, as it stands suicide is the only viable option which could potentially cause damage to those healthy organs.

    • Anonymous says:

      The only ask would be the donor should have the opportunity to choose who gets what, possibly meet those people before donation and all proceeds (the human body is worth around £250,000) go to the donors family

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow. i wholeheartedly agree with everything you just said! What is wrong with a system that has a waiting list of thousands waiting on a transplant, on life support etc., when there are others who are willing and ready to make an exit and generously seeking a way to leave undamaged organs after death!

  • Pamela R Bishop says:

    WHO makes the money off one’s organs in the case one chooses to have assisted suicide and donate our organs? i find that scary that someone will profit from it. A liver is about 100k kidneys like 50k and so on. As long as it is a charitable act and no one will profit from it, i would donate my organs.

  • Candy Minnesota says:

    Why everyone thinks that a person who makes a decision to end their life do to a medical reason is somehow feeling obligated to do so is just nuts, I have worked my whole life to be able to do the things I want to do and I have put some money away and I am by no means rich but what I have put away I would like to give to my niece and nephew instead of wasting it on a nursing home at the rate of $8,000 to $10,000 a month I never made that much money a month in my life why would a person think I would want to waste it on something I can’t enjoy , and where it comes to organ donation I have been a organ donor for at least 30 years it will not change now, I would feel very disappointed if I made this decision and they threw away my organs because someone else decided it was unethical, what gives everyone else the right to make decisions for me when I am of sound mind. If I had Alzheimer’s or Dementia I would want to have the option of MAID when I want it so that my husband doesn’t have to waste $8,000 to $10,000 a month for 3 to 13 years on my care and so he doesn’t have to waste what’s left of his life caring for me so that he doesn’t lose everything we have worked for. I’m not someone who is depressed I’m realistic.

    I watched my mother slowly wither away and die from MS that was fine for her but it is not the way I choose to die I want my death to be quick and with dignity.

  • Maureen says:

    I would sure like to see all our organ donation systems change to “opt out” rather than the current “opt- in” ones. I think it is currently an “opt out” system in one province. Then both of these programs could take place with far less complication.

    • LA Republican says:

      Would agree with Maureen that organ donation is “opt out” rather than currently “opt-in”. Regarding Euthanasia and organ donation, it seems only logical if people choose to be euthanized, that they would or could provide a service to others to donate their organs.

      It is only a matter of time until all states adopt the dignity in death option of euthanasia, and subsequent organ donation euthanasia.

  • Margaret says:

    This discussion is much too premature. Let’s get MAID to conform to the Supreme Court ruling and working well. Bringing up this issue at this time will only discourage people from using MAID. Those who wish to donate their organs are free to do so but discussions like this at this time are repulsive and will turn people from availing themselves of MAID. This discussion only raises fear.

    • Sharon says:


      I have been directly involved in this process of organ donation after a MAID ‘provision”, which is a preferred tern to ‘euthanasia”. Margaret, I feel that to use the word, ‘repulsive’ when discussing this matter is only revealing where you personally stand on the topic, and opposed to looking at the issue objectively from all perspectives. Indeed the perspective with most importance is neither yours nor mine, but that of the altruistic patient who has requested to give such a valuable gift during such a difficult time.

      • Craig says:

        I am 48 very healthy male all my organs and tissues, blood vessels eyes all in good condition.and I am on the organ donation list for 30 yrs now, my questions is with MAID instead of me killing my self and my organs go to waste can a perfectly healthy human get MAID,THROUGH OUR HOSPITAL IN AUSTRALIA WHEN ONE IS SICK TO DEATH WITH THIS WORLD CAN I DIE A HEALTHY PERSON AND DONATE MY BODY AND ORGANS TO RESERCH .?

  • Margaret says:

    I sent a comment and wonder why it was not published.

    • Karen Palmer says:

      Hi Margaret – hopefully it’s appearing now. Sometimes comments end up in our spam folder.

  • Margaret says:

    As a life-long supporter of euthasia I am quite horrified by this article. Much work still needs to be done on the issue of MAID to ensure that it is available to all who feel they need it and to bring our laws in line with the Supreme Court ruling. Once that task is concluded and working well, then we could look at the issue raised here. I do not feel that this is the time to be intertwining these issues in the public’s mind as it might well cloud the issue of MAID and raise fear issues that have nothing to do with euthanasia. Organ donation in relation to MAID is a separate issue at the moment and one that can be raised later after much thought and public discussion. I realize that this is a pressing issue for transplant Drs. but one that should not be raised at this time in the struggle to gain the right to a peaceful death for those who wish it.


Vanessa Milne


Vanessa is a freelance health journalist and a form staff writer with Healthy Debate

Christopher Doig


Christopher is a Professor in the Departments of Critical Care Medicine, Community Health Sciences, and Medicine at Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary.

Maureen Taylor


Maureen Taylor is a Physician Assistant who worked as a medical journalist and television reporter for the CBC for two decades.

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