Quick Takes – Euthanasia in Europe: Spain Harvests Organs; Italy’s First Legal Assisted Suicide; Legalized In Austria

     Another “quick takes” on items where there is too little to say to make a complete article, but is still important enough to comment on.

     The focus this time: Well, everyone else in Europe seems to be jumping off that bridge…

     First, a little mood music:

     Carrying on…

Death, Rx

     Nothing incentivizes euthanasia than those precious, precious organs.

“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.”

     That fad from Benelux has finally arrived legally in Italy.

“For more than a year, media reports kept Italians up to date on the travails of a 44-year-old man known only as “Mario” as he sought to end his life through physician-assisted suicide. Paralyzed 12 years ago in a traffic accident, ‘Mario’ faced a series of legal, bureaucratic and financial hurdles in his pursuit of death.

“On Thursday, ‘Mario,’ identified for the first time by his real name, Federico Carboni, ended his life, becoming Italy’s first legal assisted suicide, in his home in the central Italian port town of Senigallia.”

     By court fiat, euthanasia has been legalized in Austria.

“The Austrian parliament on Thursday voted to legalize assisted suicide from January after a court ruling said its ban breached fundamental human rights.

“The ban would have expired at the end of this year anyway, and the new legislation means it can only take place in accordance with strict criteria.

“What conditions must be met?

“The Assisted Suicide Act gives the option of an advance directive — similar to a living will — only to people over 18 who are terminally ill or suffer from a permanent, debilitating condition.

“Each case is to be assessed by two doctors, one of whom would have to be an expert in palliative medicine. As part of their duties, they must determine whether a patient is opting for euthanasia independently.

“At least 12 weeks must pass before a patient is granted access to the procedure, to ensure that euthanasia is not being sought due to a temporary crisis. However, for patients in the ‘terminal phase’ of an illness, the period can be shortened to two weeks.

“The individual would then draw up their will with a notary or a patient advocate before being able to obtain a lethal drug from a pharmacist.”


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