September 20, 2013 Uncategorized
Worse Than Fiction: Euthanasia on the Rise
By John Stonestreet
If you believe in the sacredness of human life from conception to natural death, it’s time to watch and pray for those at the end of life, not just the beginning.
In his novel, “Never Let Me Go,” Kazuo Ishiguro tells the story of three young people—Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy—who are repeatedly told, with their classmates at boarding school, that they’re special. But it’s not until they leave school that they learn why: They’re clones whose sole purpose for existence is to serve as organ donors.
Wikipedia describes Ishiguro’s award-winning novel as “dystopian,” that is, one that depicts a “society, usually fictional, that is in some important way undesirable or frightening.”
A colleague of mine pointed me to a recent story out of the UK that illustrates why dystopias are only “usually fictional.”
At the 21st European Conference on Thoracic Surgery last May, a paper presented by a group of Belgian doctors reported on “Lung Transplantation with Grafts Recovered From Euthanasia Donors.” Yes, you heard me correctly.
According to the abstract, between January 2007 and December 2012, six patients received pulmonary grafts using tissue from euthanized donors. The abstract states that the euthanasia was carried out “in accordance with state legislation and approval by Ethics Committee.”
The “donors” were described as suffering “from an unbearable neuromuscular . . . or neuropsychiatric . . . disorder” and had expressed an “explicit wish to donate organs.”
So as not to seem too ghoulish, “Euthanasia was executed by an independent physician in a room adjacent to the operating room in the absence of the retrieval team.”
Or, as Wesley J. Smith summed it up, “One set of doctors killed the patient, stepped out of the room, and another set of doctors entered for the harvest.”