Skip to comments."Brain Death" as Criteria for Organ Donation is a "Deception": Bereaved Mother
Posted on 02/23/2009 3:33:18 PM PST by wagglebee
ROME, February 23, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Bernice Jones came to Rome last week to tell the world that doctors killed her son by removing his organs. "Brain death is not death" and "organ donation is very deceptive," the bereaved mother told LifeSiteNews.com in an interview on Thursday.
Mrs. Jones was attending an international conference on the dangers of so-called "brain death" criteria and related her experience of losing her son, Brandon, who was declared "brain dead" and used as an organ donor.
"Families are led to believe that their loved ones are dead," Jones told LSN, "but in fact they are alive. You must be alive to be a vital organ donor." Families, she said, are being deceived by doctors and hospital administrators, "by everyone who is involved in organ transplantation." The declaration of brain death "is a deception, a violent deception, that your loved one is dead."
Jones described what she characterized as a betrayal of principle by medical professionals at a hospital in their home state of Washington, whose priority she argued is no longer the care of the patient at hand but the procurement of organs for transplants. Although she declined to name the hospital, she said, "It happens at all hospitals."
Nine years ago, Mrs. Jones's son suffered an accidental gunshot wound to the head and was declared "brain dead" upon arrival at the hospital. He was immediately prepared for the removal of his organs.
Mrs. Jones said, "While my family and I thought that our son was being treated for his well-being, to preserve and protect his life, he was not, he was being treated to be an organ donor."
"His vital organs were being procured not for his benefit but to benefit someone else."
24 hours after the family was told Brandon was dead, Mrs. Jones had an intuition that her son was still alive. Later investigation revealed that the hospital had told the family her son was "brain dead" but, without the family's knowledge, had kept him alive on a respirator for 20 hours while flooding his body with fluids and drugs in preparation for what his mother described as a live "dissection" that brought about his death.
Legal consent, she said, was obtained while the family was in deep shock over the accident. Jones's husband signed the consent forms over her objections and the family, still in shock, was told to go home. During their time at the hospital, the family was introduced to a woman whom doctors referred to as an "organ procurement agent." This woman used what Mrs. Jones described as a standard "script," speaking soothingly to the family about Brandon's altruism and desire to help others, to induce them to sign the consent forms, copies of which were not given to the family.
Mrs. Jones was later to learn that these procedures are standard for organ retrieval. "All of the organ donor families I have spoken to received the same script," she said. Organ procurement officials approach the family when they are at their most vulnerable, she said. "It's always when you're not mentally, emotionally capable" of making an informed decision.
Prior to obtaining his organs, Brandon was given paralysing drugs to keep him from moving. He was anesthetised during the removal process. Mrs. Jones said that the diagnosis of brain death is a sham. "If he is supposed to be dead, why does he need paralysing drugs to keep him from moving? Why does he need anesthesia?"
Brandon Jones was given, without his family's consent, what is called an "apnea test" by doctors, to determine brain death. Doctors remove the ventilator for two minutes from a patient who requires assistance breathing. The heart rate decreases and after two minutes without oxygen, "brain death" is declared.
The apnea test as a diagnostic tool was specifically denounced at the conference as unethical by Dr. Cicero Coimbra, a neurologist from Sao Paolo, Brazil. The test, he said, which cuts off oxygen to the brain, will bring about severe, irreversible brain damage in patients who, with proper care, would otherwise have had a good chance of survival.
Mrs. Jones believes doctors who are motivated by the desire to obtain organs use the apnea test knowing that it will induce severe brain damage while the body is prepared for organ removal.
Despite the harm it does, the apnea test, she said, is administered without the family's consent. "We were in with our son, and they told us to leave the room, that they had to perform a test. They did not ask permission to do this."
"If a family was made aware of what an apnea test consists of, no family member would ever consent to this."
She described what happened to her son: "For two minutes they took the ventilator away from him. They wait for the pulse to go down but the heart continues to beat. Then they put the ventilator back on. Now, in this two-minute timeframe, they pronounce the patient dead.
"Before they put them back on the ventilator they pronounce the patient dead. It's a prerequisite to being able to declare a legal but fictional death." This "death" is what she has described as a "convenience death, invented to schedule and regulate the actual time of real death."
Brandon died, she claimed, while his organs, including his still-beating heart, were removed in surgery. "Our son had been dissected alive and in doing so, killed."
Mrs. Jones is the founder of an organisation of parents and families who have undergone this experience and which is dedicated to bringing to the public eye the danger of the "brain death" criteria. The Life Guardian Foundation is dedicated to educating the public that "life of the human person is a gift."
The group calls it "irreverent" to use terms such as "brain dead," "vegetative state," "terminal condition," and "imminent danger of death." "Such designations have been proposed and are actively used for the sole purpose of demeaning and shortening life, as well as to hasten the death of a human person."
Mrs. Jones said that in her research after her son's death that "there is no scientific validation for 'brain death'. Absolutely none, whatsoever."
Read related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
The Demise of "Brain Death": Commentary by Dr. Paul A. Byrne, M.D.
The culture of death will NEVER answer questions like these.
We are living in an age when barbarism and the almighty $$$$$$$$$$ dollar rules everything in the worlds’ kingdoms.
May the Lord help us live in His Kingdom in our hearts and in truth.
Somebody has never been on a farm. Cut a chicken's head off and it can run around for a considerable time. There are lots of low level feedback paths that don't require active participation of the brain. If you are trying to harvest an organ carefully, the last thing you want is for the body to convulse involuntarily and screw up the process.
How many people recover from a diagnosis of clinical brain death?
I was told by a nurse 15 years ago to never ever sign an organ donor card. She claimed they kill you for your organs. I believed her then, and i still do now.
The thinking being that since the reflex to breathe is the last thing to go, if that doesn't happen, the person is dead.
The problem is, that long without oxygen, will most certainly result in irreparable brain damage, further justifying their decision.
When it gets down to it, I don't think that they really know. For all their statements that breathing is the last thing to go, it isn't.
I know about a situation where a baby was born *brain dead* and would not attempt to breath with its breathing reflex, but all the other organs were still working. That puzzled the doctors greatly, most likely (IMO), because it went against conventional wisdom, which is probably wrong. They should have reconsidered that their definition of brain death isn't right and the breathing test is not reliable.
It's IMPOSSIBLE to recover if they take the organs.
No shit Sherlock. You don't harvest good organs from a person for the benefit of that person. It is always for the benefit of another. Who writes this tripe?
Okay. Brain death, does not mean reflex movement won’t occur. Those can occur with spinal level reflexes. That’s why the paralytics. Anesthesia because of other spinal or brainstem level reflexes, (heart rate, BP , catacholemine release etc).
The answer to your question is zero if the proper criteria for diagnosing “brain death” are used; but those criteria include allowing a much longer time interval to elapse than occurred in this case. There are certain levels of inactivity which WHEN THEY HAVE CONTINUED FOR LONG ENOUGH have never been followed by a recovery of consciousness; but it is not uncommon following a trauma for apparent brain activity to shut down for hours or even a day or two in a patient who eventually recovers.
I’m not sure of the precise time intervals involved here, though.
— VeritatisSplendor (spouse of heartwood)
That's what defines it for me although supposed brain dead people don't seem to recover, would like to see some actual stats on that.
I neither want to be a donor nor a receiver, nothing in my body that would be of much use to anyone at this point. I was talking to my daughter about this, and she did sign as an organ donor, so I don't know if she'll change it or not, said she didn't want anyone's organs either.
I believe the Catholic church approves this practice; maybe they ought to rethink their position. Other than this, they are usually ahead of the curve on other life issues, to their credit.
Organ donation is not part of the culture of death. It is a wonderful way to give a gift of life to someone else. Thousands of people are alive because of the generosity of donors and their families.
This article is a huge distortion. Patients are taken off the ventilator and because their brain is no longer operating, they fail to breath on their own. They will die a natural death, unless they are reconnected to the vent. They are put back on the vent after a short time, so that the organs can be used for donation if the family wishes. They are not alive, they are being kept alive artificially by a machine.
I feel sorry for this woman’s loss, but she obviously does not know what she is talking about. There was no conspiracy to kill her son, he was already dead. Had he not been kept alive by the ventilator, he would have died long before he could have donated organs.
Why do you call organ donation part of the culture of death.
A heart can be kept beating artificially. As soon as the machine is disconnected, the patient will die. They are not really alive, and they will never recover. There is no case of properly diagnosed brain death, that has ever recovered. Not even one. After the brain ceases to function it will never start again. This is very different from a persistent vegetative state, or a coma. Brain death is permanent.
Terri was not brain dead and they never claimed that she was. Terri was PVS, which is much different.
You are correct; however, the "Terri Dailies" threads are about protecting innocent life, not just Terri.
There is another issue with organ donation. In some cases, the family of the donor is charged for the cost of the organ harvesting expenses. That is simply immoral. The expense should be covered by the beneficiary or beneficiaries. It is trauma enough to lose a member of the family without imposing expenses on them for an organ donation.
Terri had enough function left to interact with visitors. I think she was considerably more functional than a PVS case. Some videos of her ability were leaked to the net. It wasn't enough to overcome the corrupt judge.
Sounds like somebody is having a really hard time letting go.
You are right, and two neurologists must also conclude that the patient is brain dead. This can’t be done by an ER doc or a nurse. A patient that is brain dead has no possibility of recovery.
Here are some other threads on organ harvesting and brain death that show that some people DO recover:
Thanks for those links.
Do you consider “brain death” to be a legitimate term for the cessation of brain waves? That’s what I always thought it meant.
I am all for organ donation, but of course I don’t want to be killed for them! So I wonder if my understanding of “brain death” is a correct one. Once someone’s brain waves stop, they don’t ever re-start, do they?
Read some of the links I posted in #28 and you can also do a keyword search on “braindeath”. There is a lot of debate over what brain death really is and what the requirements are for it.
His skin was showing signs of deteriorating before they took the organs...the machines were to preserve the organs.
While I disagree that brain death is a fiction (can be diagnosed with an EEG), the fact is that if the medical team is primarily concerned with procurement of organs, not the correct treatment of the patient, they will keep the organs hydrated, instead of restricting fluids to decrease brain swelling.
An accurate EEG cannot be done with an edematous brain; nor can brain function be enhanced.
My sister worked in a hospital where a young man walked out of the hospital after his family was approached for organ donation, and refused.
See my previous post....
The purpose of the paralytics is to prevent any reflex action from occuring, spinal, or otherwise. The purpose of the anesthetics is the same.
Apparently not brain dead. He didn't have a gunshot to the head either did he?
You are correct, ga medic. My niece was considered brain dead, and seven of her organs were donated. She was artificially kept alive from Friday, at 8:30 pm, until Sat. at 1pm. The reason for the time span was to get the donees prepared. And, the bill was paid by those who received her organs, not her family.
When explained in such details it sure sounds like he had to have felt this disection. Terrible!
...if you've never taken high-school biology.
Why would they approach the family for organ donation if they didn’t think he was brain dead?
Were the brains transported in the ambulance with the patient, or were they shipped later after they were collected from the walls, floor, ect...
The patient was asked these questions, but his answers appeared to be somewhat scatter-brained.
I wasn't there. You'll have to ask someone closer to the event.
You said he apparently wasn’t brain dead, so I thought you knew.
I didn't think it required elaboration when the original post said "he walked out of the hospital".
I would offer a point of clarification here. Just like in the story above where the mother makes the mistake of saying that her son "was kept alive" after brain death. It's just not quite accurate. The body isn't "alive" other than the sense that they are artificially keeping fluids flowing and organs mechanically functioning so they don't start to decompose
before they can be transplanted. But if the brain is dead, they're dead.
Of course, she was dead, but my using the term "artificially kept alive" meant she was dead, but as you said, kept mechanically functioning to keep ready for the organ removal.
Thirty-five years ago.
That is actually fairly common. If they feel a patient has a good chance of not recovering they may ask the family so they are prepared in the event they do die. It’s better than waiting until it may be to late.
Having been through the transplant process, a person is not just declared “brain dead” so that the donor procurement agency can get some organs. It is a set protocol that has rigid standards, and the medical declaration is not left to 1 professional. When people make accusations that physicians purposely kill a patient to get organs, they are speaking from ignorance (although there may be ISOLATED cases that this occurs; it is NOT the norm).
Personally, my 16 year old donor was on life support for 2 weeks before being declared brain dead. Harvesting organs isn’t something that can be done at the drop of a hat. They have testing that must be done on the potential donor, recipients lined up AND in the case of a kidney, there is antibody testing that must be done between donor and recipient blood, they must coordinate transportation of the various organs (not all of the organs go to the same facility)....This article makes it seem as though he was rolled in to the ER, declared brain dead, and then taken to the OR to harvest his organs. I can guarantee you that this is NOT what happened.
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