“Brain Death” Never Actually True Death and Should Not Be An Accepted Criterion for Organ Harvesting: Eminent World Researchers (2009)

If a patient is able to process oxygen from the lungs into the bloodstream, maintain a normal body temperature, digest food and expel waste, grow to normal adult size from the age of four to twenty, and even carry a child to term, can he or she be considered dead? Can a person who is “dead” wake up and go on later to finish a university degree? Can a corpse get out of bed, go home and go fishing? Can he get married and have children? These are among the real-life stories of patients declared “brain dead” presented by medical experts at the “Signs of Life” conference on “brain death” criteria last week. Ten speakers, who are among the world’s most eminent in their fields, sounded a ringing rebuke to the continued support among medical professionals and ethicists for “brain death” as an accepted criterion for organ removal. Dr. Paul Byrne, the conference organizer, told LifeSiteNews.com he was delighted with the success of the conference, that he hopes will bring the message that “brain death is not death” to world arenas where support for “brain death” criteria is still strong. Dr. Byrne, a neonatologist and clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Toledo, compared the struggle against “brain death” criteria with another battle: “I’m sure that slavery was at one time well-accepted in the United States, and that people saw big benefits to slavery. And yes, it was difficult to go away from that but it was absolutely essential.” “Slavery was doing evil things to persons. This issue of ‘brain death’ was invented to get beating hearts for...

“Brain Death” Test Causes Brain Necrosis and Kills Patients: Neurologist (2009)

One of the medical world’s key diagnostic tools for determining “brain death” preliminary to organ retrieval, actually causes the severe brain damage it purports to determine, neurologist Dr. Cicero Coimbra told attendees at a conference last week. With the so-called “apnoea test,” Coimbra said, brain damaged patients who might be recoverable are deprived of oxygen for up to ten minutes, rendering the injuries to the brain irreversible. “Diagnostic protocols for brain death actually induce death in patients who could recover to normal life by receiving timely and scientifically based therapies,” Dr. Coimbra, head of the Neurology and Neurosurgery Department at the Federal University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, told the participants at the “Signs of Life” conference on “brain death.” Addressing an assembly of about 170 physicians, philosophers, ethicists, lawyers, students, journalists, Dr. Coimbra said that it is the apnoea test, routinely applied to patients who have suffered acute brain injuries, that frequently causes “brain necrosis,” or permanent and irrecoverable brain damage that is accepted as “brain death”. The test is applied in emergency rooms or ICUs, often with an “organ procurement agent” standing by to ask relatives for approval for organ retrieval. A patient who needs assistance breathing is removed from the ventilator for up to ten minutes, cutting off oxygen to the brain and slowing the heart rate. If the patient fails to begin breathing without assistance after this time, he is declared “brain dead” and his organs may be legally removed. Since the world-wide adoption of the “brain death” criteria, developed at Harvard University in 1968, Dr. Coimbra said, “The lives of thousands of human beings, including...

Illinois, New York Consider ‘Presumed Consent’ Organ Harvesting Bills (2010)

An Illinois senator is pushing legislation that would allow doctors to harvest organs from citizens who have not explicitly given consent for the procedure. The Journal Star reported Monday that a hearing was scheduled this week for Sen. Dale Risinger’s bill that would establish a “presumed consent” policy governing organ donation for individuals 18 and older. Under the proposed legislation, individuals who wish to avoid donating their organs would have to explicitly opt-out of donating their organs prior to becoming incapacitated. If passed, the law would be the first of its kind in America. [http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/mar/10030408.html; Life Site News; ALL Pro-Life Today, 5Mar10]     New York Proposes ‘Presumed Consent’ Organ Harvesting Law Citing the shortage in organs available for transplant, a state assemblyman in New York has proposed that all citizens of the state become automatically enrolled as candidates for organ harvesting. New York State Assemblyman Richard Brodsky has introduced a new bill in Albany that aims to enroll all New Yorkers as organ donors unless they take action to opt out. If passed, Brodsky’s bill would become the first such law the U.S. However, a similar bill was also introduced in Illinois earlier this year. “We have 10,000 New Yorkers on the list today waiting for organs. We import half the organs we transplant. It is an unacceptable failed system,” Brodsky said, according to CBS News 2. Brodsky pointed to other nations who have passed similar laws that now are in force “without a lot of controversy.” Despite the altruistic goal of such legislation, the current practice of organ harvesting has increasingly alarmed the pro-life community, as evidence...

19-Year-Old Recovers as Doctors Start to Harvest Her Organs (2012)

The world of organ donation in Denmark was in turmoil. A documentary was aired which showed family members reacting in anguish to the news that their 19-year-old daughter was brain dead after a car accident, agreeing to donate her organs and allowing doctors to turn off her respirator. About 1.7 million viewers tuned in to the heart-rending drama. But Carina Melchior did not die after her respirator was removed. She is now undergoing rehabilitation and may make a full recovery. About 500 people immediately removed their names from Denmark’s organ donor register. http://www.lifenews.com/2012/11/20/19-year-old-recovers-as-doctors-start-to-harvest-her-organs/ [Comment: Another article on the subject said that after the documentary was shown, 500 people tore up their organ donor cards. N. Valko RN http://www.medicaldaily.com/articles/12771/20121018/danish-teen-wakes-dead-doctors-prepare-harvest.htm...

Belgium Pioneers Organ Donation from Euthanized Patients (2012)

The practice of transplanting organs from patients who die after voluntary euthanasia is becoming more common in Belgium. A leading specialist, Dirk Van Raemdonck, told a conference in Brussels recently that there had already been nine cases. A year ago, a team at a hospital in Leuven announced that it had successfully transplanted lungs from four euthanized patients between 2007 and 2009. Over the next three years there appear to have been another five. According to the website De Redactie, run by the Flemish public broadcasting company VRT, Belgium is the world leader in organ removal after euthanasia. This has been done only once elsewhere in the world, in neighboring Holland, Dr Van Raemdonck told De Redactie. Only a small proportion of euthanized patients are able to donate organs, since most of them are terminally ill with cancer. About 1,100 Belgians were euthanased in 2011. Most of the patient donors have muscular or neurological disorders. [Michael Cook | Oct 05, 2012,...