December 3, 2022

7 Spaniards who were euthanised last year donated their organs

Well, well, well, that didn’t take long, did it?

Spain legalised euthanasia on June 25 last year and already transplant surgeons are using organs from euthanised patients. According to a report in the Spanish magazine Redaccíon Médica, 7 patients donated their organs – even though the government has still not release national guidelines for such procedures.

Why the rush?

The head of Spain’s National Transplant Organization (ONT), Beatriz Domínguez-Gil, said that the ONT “intuited” [sic] that some euthanasia patients would like to donate their organs. It quickly drafted some guidelines for transplant coordinators so that euthanasia donation could be “normalised” throughout the country.

Every case has to be treated very delicately, says Sra Domínguez-Gil. If a euthanasia patient wants to donate, he has to do it in a hospital setting, and not at home.

She emphasized that the decision to donate and to provide aid in dying must be “independent”. “Totally independent professionals participate. The provision of aid in dying is channeled and then the donation is considered,” she says.

No official figures have been released, but the ABC, a national newspaper estimated that about 50 people had been euthanised in 2021. To have persuaded 7 out of those 50 to donate their organs – 14% — is an amazing achievement.

International helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is at 800-273-8255 or chat for support. You can also text HOME to 741741 to connect with a crisis text line counsellor. In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org or jo@samaritans.ie. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14.

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