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Euthanasia Study Raises ‘Chilling’ Concern: “Insofar as euthanasia has been legalized in Belgium, it’s hard to see why they wouldn’t want to take organs for transplantation,” said Ana Iltis, director of the Center for Bioethics Health and Society at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. “People tend to respond with an ‘Ick,’ but that response should be about euthanasia. Once you accept that physicians are going to kill patients, it seems logical that they would harvest those organs for transplantation.” … Iltis said a 2010 report by the Canadian Medical Association highlighted the fact that 66 out of 208 patients in Belgium were euthanized without explicit patient request – and that’s worrisome. …“You can imagine cases – maybe the patient’s family requested it – but the law as I understand it requires an explicit patient request,” she said. Here in the U.S., some states like Oregon and Montana have legalized physician-assisted suicide, which is much different. The laws vary from state to state, but with physician-assisted suicide, the patient would receive a prescription from the doctor for some pills and kill themselves on their own time, Iltis said, whereas with euthanasia, the doctor or nurse can inject a lethal cocktail into a patient’s IV. Iltis said a patient requesting physician-assisted suicide would be too sick to donate his or her organs, but in Belgium, a person doesn’t necessarily have to be sick to be euthanized. “In one of the cases the person had a mental condition,” Iltis noted.…Iltis said we should take the Belgium experience “and learn from it.”

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