Can organs be harvested from a truly "dead" body?
The answer (see below) apparently is NO.
This gives way to some thought:
What takes precedence: fighting to restore you to health or harvesting your organs which may be needed for another patient?
Who makes this decision if you have signed over your body?
What criteria are used to make this decision? Christian criteria, that life is given, and taken by God at His time?
If you are alive when your organs are harvested, when do you die? On the operating table?
Do the physicians cause your death?
Do you feel pain?
Can you hear what is happening?
What is the definition of cardiac death?
What is the definition of brain death?
Life Site News has the following on the subject:
However, although Tibballs' opponents stress that his opinions are in the minority, there has been growing concern about aggressive organ harvesting policies that fail to ensure that the patient is actually dead.
Lifesite News has reported several recent cases in which patients deemed "brain dead" resuscitated only moments before their organs were to be removed. Such cases have brought more evidence to the table showing that the highly contested definition of "brain death," and the later idea of "cardiac death," do not eliminate the possibility that donors may yet recover from seeming lifelessness.
Lifesite News published the story in June of a French man who, after suffering cardiac arrest for at least ninety minutes, was being prepared for organ removal when doctors noticed the patient breathing, his pupils dilating, and the patient reacted to pain. Within weeks, the patient that had been considered "brain dead" was walking and talking. (http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/jun/08061308.html)
In another example, earlier this year 21-year-old Zack Dunlap was spared from dissection when a relative saw him react to touch minutes before he was scheduled to have his organs removed. Zack was originally deemed eligible to donate his organs when doctors could detect no blood flow to his brain. He later said, however, that he could hear the doctors pronouncing him dead as he lay seemingly unconscious. (http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/mar/08032709.html)
In his article "Organ Donation: The Inconvenient Truth," LSN medical advisor Dr. John Shea reveals the disturbing similarity between these "miraculous" cases and other organ donors whose surgeries were successful:
"Some form of anesthesia is needed to prevent the donor from moving during removal of the organs. The donor's blood pressure may rise during surgical removal. Similar changes take place during ordinary surgical procedures only if the depth of anesthesia is inadequate. Body movement and a rise in blood pressure are due to the skin incision and surgical procedure if the donor is not anesthetized.
"Is it not reasonable to consider that the donor may feel pain? In some cases, drugs to paralyze muscle contraction are given to prevent the donor from moving during removal of the organs. Yet, sometimes no anesthesia is administered to the donor. Movement by the donor is distressing to doctors and nurses. Perhaps this is another reason why anesthesia and drugs to paralyze the muscles are usually given."
Dr. Paul Byrne, an expert in organ donation and neonatologist, has continuously fought against policies and practices that put donors at extreme risk for being pronounced dead prematurely in order to lay hold of their organs.
Read the attached medical report on brain death
Brain Death - An Opposing Viewpoint Paul A. Byrne, MD; Sean O1ReilIy MD, FRCP; Paul M. Quay, SJ, PhD
• Recent and proposed legislation to establish “brain-related” criteria of death has uniformly confounded irreversible cessation of total brain function with the death of the human person. Much of the confusion comes from widespread misunderstanding of how the word “death” is used and what it means. Cessation of total brain function, whether irreversible or not, is not necessarily linked to total destruction of the brain or to the death of the person. Further, to take vital organs or to otherwise treat people as though they were dead already on the basis of these recent criteria is morally unacceptable to most Orthodox Jews and Christians.
(JAMA 242:1985-1990, 1979)
extract from page 7:
"If someone's head has been completely crushed by a truck or vaporized by a nuclear blast, or if his brain has been dissolved by a massive injection of sulfuric acid, then a cessation of function has occurred that we rightly see as absolutely irreversible. But it is the manifest destruction of his brain that convinces us of this total irreversibility, not vice versa.
But if there is no proof of complete destruction, then any declaration that a cessation of function is absolutely irreversible is a presumption, even if well grounded, which is contingent on the current state of medical knowledge and on the availability of adequate life-support systems in the concrete circumstances. Even if the presumption is correct, it establishes, as seen above, no necessary link with destruction of the brain.
If it is incorrect, the patient may possibly be cured. Thus, whether right or wrong, a presumption as to the irreversibility of a lack of brain function is insufficient ground for removing a patient's vital organs or for immediate autopsy, cremation, or burial."
and from page 10:
"Many today argue that midbrain activity or brainstem activity is peripheral once the cortex has ceased to function.1, 19 There is no limit to what real functions may be declared peripheral when the only non-peripheral function is imaginary.
Further, if complete destruction of the brain were what really is intended, then why is so much written concerning indefinite ventilation of corpses and the like? If a patient whose whole brain has been destroyed is on a respirator, then, even by the older criteria, with only the rarest of exceptions would he survive more than a week.5, 20 If, however, his brain is not dead but merely nonfunctioning because of some CNS depressant, say, then ventilatory support should be continued, at least as long as there is any chance of effecting a recovery or even of seeking an as yet unknown way to reverse his presently irreversible lack of function."
The harvesting of organs is a huge business. The medical profession has generally lost its ethics.
Organs cannot be harvested from a truly "dead" body. Decay will have set in.
Signing the card places your death in the hands of a physician.
Food for thought.