A study published July 2 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) outlines the advantages of organ donation after euthanasia.
The study examined 409 Liver Transplants in Belgium whereby 320 livers (78%) were obtained after brain death, 78 livers (19%) after circulatory death and 11 livers (2.7%) (after euthanasia). The results were:
Liver transplantation after donor brain death, circulatory death, or euthanasia resulted in 3-year graft survival of 80.2% (95% CI, 75.4%-84.2%), 82% (95% CI, 71.6%-89%), and 90.9% (95% CI, 50.8%-98.7%) (P = .67) and 3-year patient survival of 86.1% (95% CI, 81.9%-89.5%), 84.6% (95% CI, 74.5%-91%), and 90.9% (95% CI, 50.8%-98.7%) (P = .84), respectively.
According to this study the 3 year graft survival rate was 80.2% (brain death), 82% (circulatory death) and 90.9% (euthanasia). The three year patient survival rate was 86.1% (brain death), 84.6% (circulatory death ) and 90.9% (euthanasia).
The study then concludes:
These data support the notion that within a very strict ethicolegal and logistic framework, donation after euthanasia may represent a valuable source of donor organs. The small sample size, limited follow-up, and monocentric nature of the study preclude definitive conclusions but provide a rationale for larger, longer-term studies on efficacy and safety of donation after euthanasia.
The study admits that there were only a few transplants after euthanasia, leading to inconclusive data nonetheless I predict that there will be more studies like this one. Organ donation after euthanasia turns euthanasia into a social “good” and creates new pressure for people to die by euthanasia.
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Euthanasia by organ donation is also being promoted since heart transplants are not possible when organ donation follows euthanasia, whereas heart transplants are possible when euthanasia is done by organ donation.
Euthanasia by organ donation refers to the act of causing death by retrieving the organs rather than retrieving the organs after death.