I’m sorry for even touching this subject – it’s one which garners a lot of emotion – organ donation. You need to read all this article and the links before you decide what you ought to do in relation to this information.
What prompted me to write this piece is that in Wales now, you will have to opt OUT if you don’t want to be automatically considered for organ donation.
In the event you are, well, this is the issue… you are not dead when you donate your organs. That’s the problem. See this?
It says ‘I want to help others to live after my death.’ What it doesn’t say is that you will be kept alive until your organs have been removed, even though you will be given no anaesthetic, and they may say you are ‘brain-dead’ but that definition has only been in existence since organ donation first became feasible.
If you are a sensitive soul, I suggest you stop reading now…
Let me start here – I quote: [my emphasis added]
“In 1968, thirteen men gathered at the Harvard Medical School to virtually undo 5,000 years of the study of death. In a three-month period, the Harvard committee (full name: the Ad Hoc Committee of the Harvard Medical School to Examine the Definition of Brain Death) hammered out a simple set of criteria that today allows doctors to declare a person dead in less time than it takes to get a decent eye exam. A good deal of medical language was used, but in the end the committee’s criteria switched the debate from biology to philosophy. Before many years went by, it became accepted by most of the medical establishment that death wasn’t defined by a heart that could not be restarted, or lungs that could not breathe. No, you were considered dead when you suffered a loss of personhood. […]
Although the Harvard criteria were based on zero patients and no experiments were conducted either with humans or animals, they soon became the standard for declaring people dead in several states, and in 1981, the Uniform Determination of Death Act (UDDA) was sanctioned by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. The UDDA is based on the Harvard Ad Hoc Committee’s report. That a four-page article defining death should be codified by all 50 states within 13 years is staggering. […]
Brain-death advocates have always insisted that anyone who meets their criteria will fall apart quickly, and go quickly to meet the cardiopulmonary criteria. Yet Shewmon presents a litany of life processes that brain-dead patients continue to exhibit:
• Cellular wastes continue to be eliminated, detoxified, and recycled.
• Body temperature is maintained, though at a lower-than-normal temperature and with the help of blankets.
• Wounds heal.
• Infections are fought by the body.
• Infections produce fever.
• Organs and tissues continue to function.
• Brain-dead pregnant women can gestate a fetus.
• Brain-dead children mature sexually and grow proportionately.
So what drove the Harvard Ad Hoc Committee to turn back the calendar and construct a lower standard for death? To a growing number of scientific critics it appears that the committee was fixated on freeing up human organs for transplant. […]
Organ transplants would be peripheral to the story of death if they were what the organ trade claimed them to be: the neat extraction of body parts from totally dead, unfeeling corpses. But it is more complicated and messier than that. The grisly facts compiled in this article are not an attempt to derail organ transplantation—an impossible task, given how entrenched the industry is—but knowledge that has been gained from the medical establishment’s obsession with recycling the bodies of people who are, in the words of Dr. Michael DeVita of the University of Pittsburgh’s Medical Center, only “pretty dead.”[…]
Anesthesiologists have been at the forefront of questioning the finality of brain death and whether beating-heart cadavers truly are unfeeling, unaware corpses. They have also begun wondering about what a “pretty dead” donor may experience during a three- to five-hour harvest sans anesthetic, and they are speaking out on the subject.
Gail A. Van Norman, a professor of anesthesiology and bioethics at the University of Washington, cites some disturbing cases. […]
In another case, a 30-year-old patient with severe head trauma was declared brain dead by two doctors. Preparations were made to excise his organs. The on-call anesthesiologist noted that the beating-heart cadaver was breathing spontaneously, but the declaring physicians said that because he was not going to recover he could be declared dead. The harvest proceeded over the objections of the anesthesiologist, who saw the donor move and react to the scalpel with hypertension that had to be treated. It was in vain since the proposed liver recipient died before he could get the organ, which went untransplanted.”
The source for that can be found here (Link), and I recommend you read the whole article.
So, having read that I imagine you are pretty shocked – I know I was when I read it the first time some years ago, but now, with Wales bringing in ‘deemed consent’, for the first time, the Welsh are going to be at risk of this simply because they are ignorant of what it entails.
From another source, I quote: [my emphasis added]
“An authoritative view is that “Science cannot address the problem of consciousness” – though some Nobel Laureates have tried. Unless and until that changes, there can be no question of considering a brain dead while blood continues to circulate through it. How long, after the truly final cessation of all such blood flow, one must wait before deciding that a brain is dead is the question which requires scientific investigation for the provision of a reliable answer. It is, of course, a complex question requiring the consideration of variables such as prior nutrition, temperature, etc. My personal clinical observations suggest that (at ordinary temperatures) that period is greatly in excess of the waiting times currently in use for ‘DCD’ organ procurement. [I once resuscitated a neurologist after some 40 minutes of cardiac arrest – during which there was some ham-fisted chest compression/ventilation – and he returned to active consultant practice].
I have also wondered why I continue trying to make the truth about transplants known after some 35 years of pretty ineffectual effort. At first it was the bad science and intellectual dishonesty involved in calling brains “dead” when only tiny parts of them had been tested which motivated me. As time went by, the more powerful motive became concern about the deception of vulnerable people by those – particularly official bodies – intent on getting more organs for transplantation, seemingly at any price. I sincerely doubt if all those millions whose names are on the NHS Organ Donor Register fully understand what they are deemed to have agreed to by ticking boxes offering their organs “after my death”. If they did not understand that they might be certified dead for that purpose on controversial criteria, not accepted in the USA, rather than the age-old criteria of death as commonly understood, they were deceived by the wording and their “consent” is invalid. If parents are not told, frankly and fairly in terms they can be expected to understand in their distraught state of mind, that their “brain stem dead” children will (although paralysed with drugs to facilitate the surgery) react during organ removal as if they might be suffering, then they have been most wickedly deceived (by omission). I could never have allowed one of my children to be used as an organ donor. To me, that would have been the betrayal of the absolute trust which a child has in his parents. I cannot imagine any parent who knew the facts, as I do, allowing his or her child to be so abused in departing this life. That some have been persuaded to agree to it forces me to conclude that they cannot have been fully and fairly informed. David Evans Retired Consultant in Cardiology, Papworth & Addenbrooke’s Hospitals” (source)
An interesting comment from another detractor at the same conference, I quote:
“Live organs can only come from living bodies. Death is commonly associated with an apnoeic, cold, ashen grey, pulseless, stiffening corpse, and not the warm, pink, breathing (albeit with a ventilator), heartbeating, responsive “donor”, and yet there is no requirement for explanation of the different conditions that will apply when a box is ticked for organs to be taken “after my death”. Increasing pressure continues to be applied to obtain this far-from-fully-informed “consent” or,when that fails, to abandon any pretence by using increasing compulsion. […]
In the past I have been involved in [conferences] when, in spite of assurances to the contrary, donors and recipients are in the audience. As you, [Dr Gardiner], imply in your welcome cautionary remarks, it is simply not possible to confront those who themselves, or through their families (e.g. “a donor Mum’s story”) have been so involved, with the truths of these dubious procedures. Perhaps Deception in Donation would have been an alternative title.” Dr David J Hill, Retired Consultant Anaesthetist
And from Melissa Caulk’s site I quote: [my emphasis added]
“Last night my oldest daughter Christa and I were sitting on our deck, enjoying finally a warm Michigan spring.
She had been talking to a friend whose cousin was shot.
She had recently seen a tweet from him missing his cousin. She asked him what happened.
He told her that his cousin had been shot and taken to a hospital where the doctors told the family that they had no insurance so they could not operate.
“I’ve never heard of a hospital not performing surgery to help a patient live she said, even in OHIO,”she said. (Michigan joke)
“Well… we were all in the waiting room and the doctors came in and that is what they told us, I was there.”
Christa pondering whether to bring it up, said, “Wait was your cousin on the Organ Donor Registry?”
Yes, he said. All my family is.
“Oh no, she said.”
“How old was he?” 23
“Was he in good shape?” Yes, he was an athlete.
Christa began to explain to him all about organ donation, contracts, “brain-death”, and brain death protocols. His eyes grew wider and wider and then filled with tears.
He looked down, picked up his phone, and texted his mother, “Get us ALL off the organ donor register, mom.”
“I thought you were dead when they took your organs, he exclaimed?”
“No, Christa said, “you may be hurt, severely hurt,unconscious, in a coma, but not dead in the way you and I think”.
So proud of my daughter for being able to enlighten this young man. Christa blogs on Have Heart, about her brother, and best friend…Jamie Caulk.” (Link)
You can read Melissa’s blog here: Link
Finally here is an excellent video showing cases of those who recovered from so-called ‘brain-death’:
So do you think that deemed consent is acceptable? Will you be re-thinking your place on the organ donor register in light of this information?
Who decided to do this to the Welsh? Why now? Is this part of rolling this out across the UK? It must be STOPPED.
Let me know your thoughts.
God Bless you