In the discussion thread: Jahi McMath: New York facility is 'last hope' for girl declared brain dead, family say [View all]
Response to cosmicone (Reply #39)
Mon Dec 30, 2013, 03:42 PM
Yo_Mama (7,594 posts)
42. No, you can't keep a person with a dead brain stem's heart beating
That is the scientific truth. The body has no means to coordinate its functions, especially hormonal/enzymatic, which are essential to keep the heart beating. The heart will just stop on its own. You're the one making up things if you really believe that a body with a dead brain stem can be kept functioning by ventilation, especially since the cause of the brain death was reported as cardiac arrest. It's already damaged! The organs start deteriorating before the heart stops in such cases.
I believe the world record is something like 63 days, but that involved a heck of a lot more than what this girl is getting. Expected is 2-10 days, but after a week it's iffy for the organs to be used. That's why the doctors speak to the families of such potential donors just about immediately about organ donation - it's not to torture them, but because the time is running out to harvest viable organs! Real death is quite irreversible, and no you cannot keep a dead person even clinically alive (beating heart, circulating blood) for very long no matter what you do. Science can't do it.
Mind you, I'm not saying that the girl is alive. I'm just saying that the assertion that the only motive the family has in keeping her on the ventilator is to collect a larger malpractice award is scientifically absurd and therefore a very odd claim to make. This appears to be bullshit aimed at convincing the public that the family are nasty people!
Anyone with an open mind can see what's involved in maintaining that beating heart for long enough so that the organs can be harvested:
This isn't being done for this girl. The chance that her brain stem was entirely dead a week ago is pretty slim now. But the damage could be so severe that it is irreversible and progressive, which is probably what they "meant".
The judge's initial order was clearly meant to let nature take its course. And believe me, it would have. And it has.
I NEVER claimed the poor child was still alive. I claimed that the assertion that the family's motive in keeping her on ventilation was purely mercenary was scientifically ridiculous and therefore, IMO, either malign or ignorant.
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No, you can't keep a person with a dead brain stem's heart beating
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