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Invited Commentary
August 5, 2020

Organ Donation After Euthanasia

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Transplantation, Department of Surgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
JAMA Surg. 2020;155(10):924-925. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2020.2514

Since its inception, clinical transplantation has been fraught with ethical issues. Activities we consider routine practice today (eg, living donation or declaration of brain death) underwent contentious debate just a few decades ago. In this issue of JAMA Surgery, van Reeven et al1 raise additional ethical issues in their discussion of liver donation after euthanasia. An important point is that euthanasia, legal in only a few countries, differs from medically assisted suicide. In medically assisted suicide, the physician provides the means of suicide and the patient self-administers it. In euthanasia, the physician administers the drugs that result in death. The pros and cons of euthanasia are not discussed here.2

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