By Wesley J. Smith, J.D., Special Consultant to the CBC

I have written — and received much flack for so doing — that organ procurement agencies should announce they will not accept organs from suicides. I wrote in reaction to people who committed suicide — apparently in part anyway — to donate organs. My point is to prevent people from believing their deaths are of greater value than their lives, in the hope that it might prevent some suicides. Now, there has been another case of suicide tied with an organ donation request. From the Fox News story:

A Utah woman has committed suicide shortly after telling emergency personnel she wanted her organs harvested.St. George Police Captain Scott Staley says the 57-year-old woman made a call Friday morning to 911 to say she wanted to be an organ donor. Staley says she then parked outside the emergency room at the Dixie Regional Medical Center, left her vehicle and shot herself in the head around noon. Doctors and nurses in the emergency room heard the gunfire and ran outside. They tried to revive her but were unsuccessful.

Did she kill herself solely to donate organs? Almost surely not. Had she known that her act would preclude her from donating, would it have prevented the suicide? We can’t know that. But I think that knowledge might deter some from ending their own lives for whom the lure of organ donation might be the tipping point.