I want to thank Mr Sherman for his thoughtful letter in response to my column. Part of the purpose of the “Current Controversies” column is to raise issues that are in dispute and to highlight different sides in what can sometimes be heated debates. The question of hastening death in order to obtain organs for transplant is one such debate. Mr Sherman credits me with arguments I did not make and do not necessarily agree with. Although I do not disagree with his concerns about hastening death, I think the responses to Mr Sherman’s objections are clear.

For a person who is already close to death, to agree to hasten that person’s death in order to make organs available for transplant is an unusually heroic act that goes beyond inconvenience. This person might “sacrifice” her life, but she does so at a time...

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