According to Ottawa Citizen, the Government of Ontario’s organ donation organization Trillium Gift of Life is increasingly turning to assisted suicide patients in order to increase their numbers. This is a disturbing and macabre trend. 

“The decision to pursue MAiD (medical aid in dying or assisted suicide) is totally separate from the decision to donate organs,” Ronnie Gavsie said, chief executive officer of Trillium Gift of Life Network, which procures organ donation from those who are allowed to commit assisted suicide. “But we do want patients to have their last will carried out.”

Of course, Gavsie fails to mention that this practice preys on the mentally and physically vulnerable in their self-defined final days. 

As reported by the Ottawa Citizen, in 2018 assisted suicide patients accounted for 3.6% of the Ontario’s total donations. That’s up from the previous years, which was at only 2.1%. It looks like that is set to increase as Trillium is rather aggressive in its attempts to get people in the midst of disease and pain to sign on the dotted line.  

Trillium is one of the few organizations that can actively reach out to those that have been approved for assisted suicide to “discuss donation” as a government agency.

“And, as part of high-quality end-of-life care, we make sure that all patients and families are provided with the information they need and the opportunity to make a decision on whether they wish to make a donation,” Gavsie said. “That just follows the logical protocol under the law and the humane approach for those who are undergoing medical assistance in dying. And it’s the right thing to do for those on the list.”

Wait…so it is okay for those that are facing a possible terminal illness in order to help those that are also facing a debilitating condition and need a new organ or tissue?

For those who are facing a terminal illness, it tells them that they are worth more dead than alive.  

It’s a terrifying reality, and one that is already happening in other countries like Belgium and The Netherlands that accept assisted suicide and euthanasia. But the Ottawa Citizen takes it one step further by celebrating this trend as a “growing boon to organ donation in Ontario.” It isn’t. In fact, it may actually open the door to abuse, coercion and further macabre practices targeting those that are vulnerable physically, spiritually and emotionally. 

Once you value people for their “parts” more than their humanity, it doesn’t take long before atrocities start to happen. 

A historic example would be the Holocaust and other mass murders committed by the Nazis. Did you know that most of the mass killings initially began with mentally and physically disabled? The program started after the parents of a child with severe disabilities petitioned Adolf Hitler to have their child killed. He sent his personal physician, Karl Brandt, who deemed the child an “idiot” and euthanized him. That was in 1939, and the euthanasia program that killed 200,000-275,000 people then rose out of that.

The mass killings of the Jews did not start in earnest until 1941 with the Einsatzgruppen, four mobile death squads whose sole objective was to follow the advancing German troops in Eastern Europe and massacre Jews and other groups. The Holocaust, also known as the Final Solution to the Jewish Question, only formally began in 1942 after the Wannsee Conference. Auschwitz-Birkenau, which started out as a concentration camp for Polish political dissidents, only transitioned into the world’s largest mass killing facility after that point. 

Will something like the Holocaust happen in Canada? No, it’s highly unlikely, but it is a powerful example of how devaluing one human life somehow creates a domino effect where the criteria of “worth” is determined by some arbitrary factors and not as a being created in the image of God.

Perhaps Trillium Gift of Life Network thinks that it’s helping the people, but that isn’t the case. People who are contemplating assisted suicide are often vulnerable, scared and struggling to comprehend what life after death might mean. They need spiritual, emotional and physical support, like what is provided with palliative care, and not a government agency hitting them up for an organ donation as soon as they make the list.