In Canada, Euthanasia Seen as a ‘Boon’ for Organ Donations

Organ donations from those who chose ‘medically assisted deaths’ in Canada have caused an increase in overall organ donations in the country, and has been hailed as a ‘boon’ to organ and tissue donation. But many fear this is a sign of a culture that sees someone’s organs as worth more than their life.

Wesley J. Smith, an author and Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism, stopped by The Drew Mariani Show™ last week to discuss the risk of euthanasia being used for organ harvesting, and how this worldview promotes utilitarianism and a culture of death.

Canada’s Supreme Court legalized euthanasia throughout the country in 2015, and in 2019 medically-assisted death patients in the province accounted for 18 organ and 95 tissue donors – a 14 per cent increase over 2018 and a 109 per cent increase over 2017.

Smith said, “I’ve been fighting assisted suicide and euthanasia since 1993. And I’ve traveled the world, spoken, written books, and so forth. And in my first piece, which was published in Newsweek in 1993, I predicted that if we went down this assisted suicide road, this euthanasia road, we would end up with organ harvesting.”

“And back in ’93 people started yelling at me, saying, ‘You’re a fear monger! You’re an alarmist! It’ll never happen!’ Well, now when it happens, people say, ‘Well, of course. We should get some good out of these deaths. Right?’ Because that’s how the slippery slope works. And by the way, this is not a slippery slope argument. It’s a facts on the ground argument.”

While organ donation is a practice that saves and improves lives, many fear that it will be used as a way to prey on the chronically ill and disabled, and that coercion will turn organ donation into organ harvesting.

Smith explained that these tactics are already being used in Canada, saying, “They will contact people who are suicidal to the point that they’re asking to be killed, and say, ‘Can we have your organs?’ It is grossly cruel. Because it could be the tipping point that takes somebody who is, let’s say, profoundly disabled that says, ‘I don’t like my life anymore. I just I can’t take it anymore. Somebody else can get a great benefit. It’ll be a plum to society if I am killed and my organs harvested.’ That is happening in Canada.”

While physician-assisted suicide remains illegal in most of the United States, it is legal in nine states and the District of Columbia, with more states putting legalization on the ballot each year. Smith told Drew Mariani that Americans should look to Canada as an example of what to expect if euthanasia is legalized in more U.S. States.

“Canada is our closest cultural cousin,” he said. “And if it can happen in Canada, it can happen here. And we have to not give any more ground.”

Listen to the full conversation with Wesley Smith below:

The Drew Mariani Show airs weekdays from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. Eastern/noon-3:00 p.m. Pacific on Relevant Radio® and the Relevant Radio App.

Stephanie Foley serves as a Digital Media Producer at Relevant Radio®. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where she studied journalism, and she has worked in Catholic radio for 12 years. Stephanie is a wife, a mother of three boys, and in her free time she enjoys reading, running, and really good coffee. You can find more of Stephanie’s writing at and on the free Relevant Radio mobile app.