VIDEO: [CBC News] Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil tabled controversial legislation that will make the province the first jurisdiction in North America to have presumed consent for organ and tissue donation. [Apr. 2, 2019]
Introduced by Premier Stephen McNeil, the Human Organ and Tissue Donation Act, or Bill 133, will also make Nova Scotia the first jurisdiction in North America to “presume consent” for organ donation, the CBC reported.
A number of European countries, including Spain, Croatia, Portugal, France, Austria, Italy, and Finland, have “presumed consent” laws, as do Belgium and the Netherlands, where euthanasia is legal.
The Netherlands passed “yes unless” legislation last February that takes effect in 2020. Germany tabled similar legislation Monday.
The Liberals will not proclaim the bill for 12 to 18 months after it is passed in order to prepare health care workers for the change, reported CBC.
McNeil said Nova Scotia has one of Canada’s highest per capita rates of willing donors.
“That doesn’t always translate into the actual act of giving,” he said. “We know that there are many ways that we can continue to improve the system that we have.”
But critics say presumed consent for organ donation opens the way for fatal abuse of vulnerable patients, with Nova Scotians possibly at an increased risk, given that euthanasia is legal in Canada.
The bill defines death as “the irreversible cessation of the functioning of the organism as a whole as determined by the irreversible loss of the brain’s ability to control and coordinate the organism’s critical functions.”
Medical experts and ethicists such as Dr. Paul Byrne, American neonatologist and professor of pediatrics, and Doyen Nguyen, professor at Rome’s Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, have debunked the idea of “brain death,” calling it a “medical fiction” used to justify harvesting organs from patients in irreversible comas.
Byrne has compared the concept of “brain death” to slavery.
This article continues at [LifeSiteNews] Nova Scotia organ donor law would make it easier to harvest without consent