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OrganFacts.net

The truth behind
organ donation
& transplants

The truth behind organ donation & transplants


      www.OrganFacts.net  … Wait for the Lord; take courage and He will give strength to your heart; yes, wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:14)



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… The truth behind organ donation & organ transplants

WAS
NOT
DEAD

Carina Melchior

Carina Melchior , a 19 year old student, suffered severe injuries after crashing her car. Doctors said she would soon be “brain dead” and convinced her family to consent to organ donation. But, as doctors gathered around her bed to prep her for organ donation, she suddenly opened her eyes and moved her legs. Now she is making a full recovery. [more]

WAS
NOT
DEAD

Steven Thorpe

Steven Thorpe , 17 year old Warwickshire youth, was declared “brain dead” by four doctors, but his parents did not give up on him, and insisted on another opinion from an independent GP and a neurosurgeon. Steven made an unexpected recovery and left hospital alive seven weeks later. [more]

WAS
NOT
DEAD

Zach Dunlap

Zach Dunlap , a 21 year old Oklahoma man, was “feeling pretty good” four months after he was diagnosed as “brain dead”. Ironically, Zach heard the doctors pronounce him dead, but was unable to do anything about it. A few days later, he revived and spoke to his family. [more]

WAS
NOT
DEAD

Sam Schmid

Sam Schmid , a 21 year old Arizona college student, was critically wounded in a five-car accident. Surgeons thought he had no hope of recovery and broached organ donation with his family. Sam was poised to ‘donate’ his vital organs, when he suddenly emerged from a coma. He has since had rehabilitation and walks with the aid of a walker. [more]

WAS
NOT
DEAD

Val Thomas

Val Thomas , 59 year old West Virginia woman, came back to life, after being clinically “brain dead” for 17 hours. Attempts to revive her after a heart attack had failed, and doctors diagnosed her as “brain dead”. Later “she moved her arm, coughed and asked for her son.” ... she was alive. [more]

WAS
NOT
DEAD

Gloria Cruz

Gloria Cruz , 56 year old Northern Territory woman, was declared “brain dead” and expected to ‘die’ within 48 hours. A doctor, a social worker and a ‘patient advocate’ urged her husband to remove the ventilator and let her ‘die’. But he refused and 3 days later, Gloria revived, awoke from her coma and was getting around hospital in a wheelchair. [more]

WAS
NOT
DEAD

Madeleine Gauron

Madeleine Gauron , a 76 year old Quebec woman, was diagnosed by medical staff as “brain dead”, with no hope of recovery. Doctors asked if the family would agree to organ donation, but the family asked for more medical tests. The next day, astonishingly, she awakened and sat up in bed and ate yogurt. [more]

WAS
NOT
DEAD

Rae Kupferschmidt

Rae Kupferschmidt , 65 year old Minnesota woman, suffered a massive cerebral haemorrhage and doctors diagnosed her as “brain dead”. She was taken home to die and her family began making funeral arrangements. When Rae spontaneously sucked an ice cube offered by her daughter, she was found to be alive. She later walked. [more]

WAS
NOT
DEAD

Suzanne Chin

Suzanne Chin suffered cardiac arrest and collapsed into unconsciousness. Taken to hospital, she remained in a coma and the head of ICU, two neurologists & a cardiologist said she was brain-dead with no hope of recovery. But her husband refused to turn of her life support. 3 days later, Suzanne revived & is now well & very much ALIVE. [more]

An extract

Fear has basis in reason

By Michael Potts, head, Philosophy and Religion Department, Methodist College, Fayetteville, NC

Michael Potts

(From British Medical Journal (BMJ 2002;325:598, 14 September 2002)

The fear of being declared dead while still alive, in the case of “brain dead”patients, is a fear with a basis in reason.¹ If such patients are not dead, they certainly will be after unpaired vital organs are removed for transplantation. Rather than being “settled,” the acceptability of criteria for brain death is the subject of intense international debate.

As early as 1974, the philosopher Hans Jonas wrote in opposition to brain death criteria² ; a lengthy article by Byrne et al followed nine years later (reprinted in an anthology by Potts et al³). More recently, the neurologist Alan Shewmon reversed his previous support for brain death criteria.4

There are many reasons for this growing opposition. …

This debate should raise serious doubts concerning whether brain dead people are dead and lead to a rethinking of the entire enterprise of removing vital organs from such patients. A fundamental goal of medicine is to do no harm (non-maleficence). Any action that directly causes the death of a patient, even if it is for the good of others, opposes the goal of medicine not to harm that individual patient. Any attempt to downplay the importance of the brain death debate in the interests of organ transplantation is therefore fundamentally wrong. It is precisely whether transplantation kills the donor that is the key issue that cuts to the heart of the goals of medicine.


References: (From original article)

1. Editor’s choice. Deep fears. BMJ 2002;324(7348). (8 June.)

2. Jonas H. Against the stream. In: Philosophical essays: from ancient creed to technological man. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1974.

3. Potts M, Byrne PA, Nilges RG, eds. Beyond brain death: the case against brain based criteria for human death. Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2000.

4. Shewmon DA. “Brain stem death,” “brain death”and death: a critical reevaluation of the purported evidence. Issues Law Med 1998; 14: 125-145[Medline].

5. Coimbra CG. Implications of ischemic penumbra for the diagnosis of brain death. Braz J Med Bio Res 1999; 32: 1479-1487.


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