A few weeks ago, the subject of the law on euthanasia was raised and debated on blogs, such as Anna Raccoon’s piece here, as a result of the Terry Pratchett documentary.

Many people welcomed it, many people regarded it as a slippery slope. Well, for those still undecided about the latter, consider this:

Doctors are impressed by the superior condition of lungs taken from people who killed by lethal injection compared to those extracted from those killed in accidents.

How nice for them…

The authors of the study, Initial Experience with Transplantation of Lungs Recovered From Donors After Euthanasia, insisted that doctors were acting strictly within Belgian guidelines on euthanasia, which was legalised in 2002.

They reveal how ‘donors were admitted to the hospital a few hours before the planned euthanasia procedure’.

‘A central venous line was placed in a room adjacent to the operating room,’ said the report by D. Van Raemdonck et al, a team of surgeons from Leuven

‘Donors were heparinised [injected with an anticoagulant] immediately before a cocktail of drugs was given by the treating physician who agreed to perform the euthanasia.

‘The patient was announced dead on cardiorespiratory criteria by three independent physicians as required by Belgian legislation for every organ donor.

‘The deceased was then rapidly transferred, installed on the operating table, and intubated.

Sounds like the sort of ‘quiet, dignified death’ the pro-euthanasia campaign are always telling us will be waiting for us when the law’s relaxed, doesn’t it?

The team found that the lungs were not traumatised by an ‘agonal’ phase seen in people killed by serious head injuries, the most common type of transplant donor.

Just think of the cold, calculating, dare I say clinical detachment necessary to write that sentence….

Dr Peter Saunders, of Care Not Killing, an umbrella group of more than 50 British medical, disability and religious charities opposed to euthanasia, said he was shocked by the report.

‘I was amazed at how nonchalantly the issue was dealt with as if killing patients and then harvesting their organs was the most natural thing in the world,’ he said.

People used to say the same of abortion. ‘Oh, no, it’ll always be the exception, never the rule!’ ‘No, of course it won’t become a substitute for contraception!’

‘Given that half of all euthanasia cases in Belgium are involuntary it must be only a matter of time before the organs are taken from patients who are euthanised without their consent.

‘The matter of fact way the retrieval process is described in the paper is particularly chilling and shows the degree of collaboration that is necessary between the euthanasia team and the transplant surgeons – prep them for theatre next to the operating room, then kill them and wheel them in for organ retrieval. All in a day’s work in Brave New Belgium.’

Quite. Next, ‘Solyent Green’..?

The report comes just a year after researchers found a high proportion of deaths classified as euthanasia in Belgium have involved patients who have not requested their lives to be ended by a doctor.

That slope gets steeper and steeper…

11 comments for “Sickening…

  1. June 30, 2011 at 11:03 am

    If I recall correctly, Pratchett is asking for assisted suicide, which isn’t quite the same thing.

    • June 30, 2011 at 11:41 am

      It’s all part of the same slope…

      • June 30, 2011 at 11:52 am

        Maybe, maybe not. If I was in the situation Pratchett finds himself in, I would want some say in the matter of my demise while I was still fit enough to make it. It should not be a matter for the state to involve itself in. There is a clear distinction between that and euthanasia.

      • Hexe Froschbein
        June 30, 2011 at 1:23 pm

        Some more differentiation would be useful here.

        Euthanasia can be murder in the same way that compassionate caring can turn out to be torture. The measure here is how many people are failed, saved or not affected, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution, every case has to be decided individually, on it’s merits. There will always be people who will get unlucky, our job is to ensure that as few people lose out as it possible here.

        Our general problem is that the truth is that individual humans can be great people, but in general, people are stupid and we know this which is why this socialist thinking creeps in which aims to prevent fools without responsibility from cause damage.

        Of course it’s great to get the lungs undamaged and save someone’s life with them, and you taking umbrage at the way the technology work is misguided, because you’re attacking the players not the ball itself. There is nothing wrong at all with this method(especially when it prevents a painful suffering that would occur with a ‘natural death’), it only becomes murder and torture is the donor is euthanised before they actually need help to die or in a way that causes them distress.

        We need safeguards to stop vulnerable people from being offed, something we don’t have now which is why this is what is happening in the NHS and the care homes: Euthansia by neglect(the worst kind). This has been happening forever an a day, and the only way it’s ever stopped is by eternal vigilance. I’ve not seen one nurse jailed for murder(etc) in the UK, but I know that thousands of people have died by their professional neglect in the UK.

        So, I’m not seeing the slippery slope here Julia, but a well jumped in abyss that has been left to fester unsecured because humans are too afraid of death to take mastery over it.

        I think that legalising Euthansia will improve very much on the current ‘free-for-all-but-don’t-get-caught’ boom in offing old people by making it much more difficult than it is now to cull them.

        But of course, that requires that people are willing to keep monitoring the process…

        And as always this is where it fails, which is why we have NHS death wards already… discussing whether to quit dehydrating and starving people to death and euthanising them instead seems like an improvement 🙁

        So, the discussing about Euthanasia is important, and amazingly both sides here want the same thing: a death with dignity — and both sides are fighting the same horror: murder and torture.

        • July 1, 2011 at 5:42 am

          “..and you taking umbrage at the way the technology work is misguided, because you’re attacking the players not the ball itself. “

          If those players start viewing us, before we shuffle off our mortal coil, as a handy collection of spare parts, then yes, I’ll take umbrage!

  2. PT
    June 30, 2011 at 11:52 am

    “The report comes just a year after researchers found a high proportion of deaths classified as euthanasia”

    What researchers? Classified by whom? Isn’t euthanasia, as opposed to assisted suicide, still classified as murder? Were any of this “high proportion of deaths” prosecuted as murder? Seems like a deliberately slanted piece by Care Not Killing, using deliberately emotive terms.
    If euthanasia were ever permitted, alongside presumed consent to organ donation, I’d expect to see a sudden rise in the lifespan of the Establishment, the rich and the privileged, and I’d be very concerned. But is that the case, yet?

    • July 1, 2011 at 5:43 am

      “But is that the case, yet?”

      Why wait until it is, because by then, it’ll surely be too late.

  3. June 30, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    I posted two comments on the comment thread fo “Presumed Consent and the BMA” regarding the role of the NHS as it relates to organ transplants and indirectly the commercialisation of such operations, which this post again touches upon.

    I believe there is a general reluctance to follow the general shortage of funds in the NHS, together with the heavy-handed slap-down of junior doctors by the previous government, through to their logical conclusions.

    The Sunday Times on 4th January 2009 had an article on the NHS sale of livers to foreigners paid for by their governments, as may be read from this post on my blog at that time:

    Later that year in March I again touched on that topic, which any interested may find as follows:

    None of our present concerns are therefore new – presumed consent, organ sales from euthanasia “volunteers” etc,, are the logical end results of the direction we have been taking for decades.

    The main and most horrifying aspect for me, is that the money obtained is wasted and squandered by the NHS, falling as it does under state control. Public bodies, as has been proven time and time again, being incapable of efficiency. On top of that, and absolutely worst of all, incompetent governments gather enemies at rapid rates, nowadays we are easily identifiable, thanks to the wonders of the internet?

    Next step therefore…….?? 😈

    • ivan
      June 30, 2011 at 8:56 pm

      Organ-legging on a grand scale.

  4. June 30, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    “half of all euthanasia cases in Belgium are involuntary”

    ‘Involuntary’ euthanasia is simply murder, surely.

    • June 30, 2011 at 2:58 pm

      I would have thought so.

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