Monday, March 24, 2008

Just a reminder ... Organ 'donors' are LIVING not dead

'Brain dead' people are not dead. 'Brain death' is an invention of 'modern' medicine that reminds us that, if we are in a coma and can't talk, we're in trouble, buddy.

See one thing people don't understand: You can't transplant organs from a dead person to a living one. The organ has to be removed from a LIVING human being.

Not that I see anything wrong with organ 'donation' -- though let's face it the phrase should be 'organ removal.' I do think there are accident victims whose bodies are sustained ONLY by machines and who demonstrate zero brain activity. But, as we have seen with certain celebrated murder ... whoops... 'right to death' cases the line tends to be drawn by people who don't want to be inconvenienced. So, remember, if you get hurt in an accident, you better make damn sure you start squirming around quick-like. Don't lay there like a dead person:

OKLAHOMA CITY - Four months after he was declared brain dead and doctors were about to remove his organs for transplant, Zach Dunlap says he feels "pretty good."

Dunlap was pronounced dead Nov. 19 at United Regional Healthcare System in Wichita Falls, Texas, after he was injured in an all-terrain vehicle accident. His family approved having his organs harvested.

As family members were paying their last respects, he moved his foot and hand. He reacted to a pocketknife scraped across his foot and to pressure applied under a fingernail. After 48 days in the hospital, he was allowed to return home, where he continues to work on his recovery.

On Monday, he and his family were in New York, appearing on NBC's "Today."

"I feel pretty good. but it's just hard ... just ain't got the patience," Dunlap told NBC.

Dunlap, 21, of Frederick, said he has no recollection of the crash.

"I remember a little bit that was about an hour before the accident happened. But then about six hours before that, I remember," he said.


This guy just better hope he gets his memory back. No telling how far the definition of brain death is going to get stretched.

5 Comments:

Blogger Walker1 said...

Life is the most precious of all Gods gifts. Man has been blessed with the knowledge to extend life in ways that just a few years ago were thought impossible. I'll leave it to those who are much smarter and more educated than I to decide when life begins and ends,all I know is the bible refers to God breathing the "breath of life" into man.
The argument that we should not do organ transplants because there might still be a spark of life there seems to me roughly akin to the liberal argument against capital punishment. You might kill someone who is innocent, someone might "wake up." From all I know the former is much more likley than the latter. Do miracles happen? Of course they do, but think for one minute of the precious lives that can be extended by organ transplants. I ask you if it was your loved one who needed a heart or a lung to continue a quality life, would you be the one to go to that person and say "we have the means, and the knowledge to save you, but we are going to let you die because we want to keep pumping air into this lifeless body over here just in case a miracle comes"?

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Walker said...

Walker1,

So nice to see you commenting on the blog! haha

My point was NOT that I don't want organ transplants. My point was that the definition of 'death' has been stretched so far it makes hospitals and nursing homes look like the set of a horror movie.

The last time we saw a 'brain dead' person outright starved to death, that woman was able to sit up and look around. But she didn't do it with quite enough awareness to qualify her as a living person.

I tell you, this fellow better recover his memory because that might well fit the current definition of brain death.

As a matter of fact, I'm kind of surprised they didn't just knock him over the head and take his organs.

11:39 AM  
Blogger kevinwillis.net said...

Did you ever see Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life"? While a filthy movie in many respects that earns it's 'R' rating, there is a wonderful organ donation scene where the harvesters come to get the organ's from a still living man--he signed the organ donors card, after all! Then the woman is convinced, after seeing her husband eviscerated, to sign up as an organ donor herself.

I don't have anything against organ donation, myself, but I agree the idea of "life" seems to be getting narrower on both sides. Old enough? Might as well be dead. Brain damaged enough? Dead. Not born yet? Never been alive! Sad? Let's kill you!

Sheesh.

2:52 PM  
Blogger Walker said...

Kevin said:
I don't have anything against organ donation, myself, but I agree the idea of "life" seems to be getting narrower on both sides. Old enough? Might as well be dead. Brain damaged enough? Dead. Not born yet? Never been alive! Sad? Let's kill you!


What amazes me are all the koolaid drinkers.

You talk to people about this and they all swear they 'wouldn't want to live that way.'

It's amazing that a philosophy has become popular in which people assert that others should kill them!

People really think they would be dead already.

The truth -- that they will be, by every measure, ALIVE -- seems to have escaped them.

For the record,this is why I don't sign my organ donor card. I don't want my life in the hands of pop philosophers. It's not yours to take -- no matter how good the cause is.

3:43 PM  
Blogger kevinwillis.net said...

I'm prone to agree. For the most part, I would want to live, even if my life was limited by unfortunate restrictions. Technically, all our lives are limited in some respect. And often become more limited, as hearing gets worse or vision gets worse . . . and I will always remember the wisdom imparted by Gregg Easterbrook's book "The Progress Paradox". He notes that quadriplegics, as a group, are happier and enjoy a greater sense of well-being that perfectly healthy lottery winners.

4:36 PM  

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