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Reply #47: I read an article by a doctor/med school prof recently that upset me. [View All]

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DemBones DemBones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-02-07 02:30 AM
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47. I read an article by a doctor/med school prof recently that upset me.

This was the most shocking paragraph in the article:

Every set of criteria for "brain death" includes an apnea test. ("Apnea" means the absence of breathing.) This test, which has no benefit for the comatose patient and, in fact, aggravates the patient's condition, is done without the knowledge or consent of family members. The apnea test, during which the ventilator is turned off for up to 10 minutes, can induce "brain death" or cardiac arrest. Its sole purpose is to determine the patient's inability to breathe on his own in order to declare "brain death."

If a patient is dependent on a ventilator, and the ventilator is turned off for up to 10 minutes, it seems obvious to me that the intent is to cause brain death so that the person's organs can be harvested for transplant.

Doing it without the knowledge or consent of family members shows that doctors know it's wrong, know that no one would agree to have a loved one's ventilator turned off long enough to cause brain death.

Many patients are on ventilators for a period of time and recover completely. How many others whose organs were harvested would have recovered if the ventilator hadn't been turned off?

The 28 year-old son of a friend of mine had a brain aneurysm. The family was told he was brain dead within a few hours after he arrived at the hospital. He was an organ donor, really believed in organ donation, so of course they agreed to have his organs harvested. The hospital kept him alive for at least a week after declaring him brain dead in order to arrange for all the transplants. Now you know it costs a lot to spend a week in a hospital on a ventilator, with an IV, maybe a nasogastric feeding tube, and a catheter, and nursing care. But the hospital didn't charge the family anything. That gives you an idea how much organs are worth. But he was worth so much more to his family and I have to wonder if he could have been saved, if his organ donor card led to his death.

"First, do no harm" is no longer the guiding principle of medicine.
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  -US doctor on organ harvest charge Crisco  Aug-01-07 06:27 AM   #0 
  - Not surprising. I think what this doc did is really just the tip of the  Quakerfriend   Aug-01-07 07:13 AM   #1 
  - This is the ultra-guilded age  Robson   Aug-01-07 07:05 PM   #34 
  - I do, too. And it's very disturbing to think  DemBones DemBones   Aug-02-07 02:35 AM   #48 
  - this is tantamount to murder  blondie58   Aug-01-07 07:30 AM   #2 
  - this is the same as ordering a person to be executed,  mopinko   Aug-01-07 09:17 AM   #11 
  - What if the Recipient Were Dick Cheney?  AndyTiedye   Aug-02-07 01:11 AM   #44 
  - so..where is the christian right outrage?...n/t  orleans   Aug-02-07 02:15 AM   #46 
     - This Christian leftist is outraged. I'm sure the Christian right will be,  DemBones DemBones   Aug-02-07 02:40 AM   #49 
  - The #1 reason I am no longer an organ donor.  sarcasmo   Aug-01-07 07:52 AM   #3 
  - He's not doing it for the money.  knitter4democracy   Aug-01-07 08:56 AM   #6 
  - You KNOW this guy isn't getting money under the table to  acmavm   Aug-01-07 08:59 AM   #7 
  - My husband's a doctor, I know many doctors, and I have never heard of this happening.  knitter4democracy   Aug-01-07 01:36 PM   #23 
     - Well he just did.  trashcanistanista   Aug-01-07 06:08 PM   #30 
  - the only organs you're entitled to are YOUR OWN...  NorthernSpy   Aug-01-07 09:53 AM   #14 
     - Damn Skippy!!  PoconoPragmatist   Aug-01-07 10:52 AM   #20 
     - Absolutely! Which is why there are the safeguards in place and why he was caught.  knitter4democracy   Aug-01-07 01:38 PM   #24 
  - Same here.  trogdor   Aug-01-07 09:04 AM   #8 
  - +1  Blue_Tires   Aug-01-07 06:14 PM   #31 
  - Are you kidding?  progressoid   Aug-01-07 09:46 AM   #13 
  - This is Disturbing  OhioChick   Aug-01-07 08:34 AM   #4 
  - Massively wrong, and he will pay for it.  knitter4democracy   Aug-01-07 08:55 AM   #5 
  - I agree with you. What a mess, though.  yardwork   Aug-01-07 09:06 AM   #9 
  - I Doubt It  PoconoPragmatist   Aug-01-07 11:01 AM   #21 
     - Bad doctors don't, especially when it hits the media.  knitter4democracy   Aug-01-07 01:32 PM   #22 
  - This Is Why I Will Never Be An Organ Donor  PoconoPragmatist   Aug-01-07 09:11 AM   #10 
  - Some people shouldn't be organ donors.  DarbyUSMC   Aug-01-07 09:45 AM   #12 
  - Free Organs - What a Great Way to Create Demand  Crisco   Aug-01-07 09:53 AM   #15 
  - True.  PoconoPragmatist   Aug-01-07 10:47 AM   #18 
  - Kidney donation leaves the donor alive. Big difference.  DemBones DemBones   Aug-02-07 02:47 AM   #50 
  - The recipient is paying for the service.  knitter4democracy   Aug-01-07 01:39 PM   #25 
  - moral of the story: it really IS dangerous to be worth more dead than alive  NorthernSpy   Aug-01-07 10:07 AM   #16 
  - Yup.  PoconoPragmatist   Aug-01-07 10:50 AM   #19 
  - It made the news because it is so rare.  knitter4democracy   Aug-01-07 01:44 PM   #26 
     - Exactly right. An anomoly.  DarbyUSMC   Aug-01-07 02:19 PM   #28 
  - Man kills beggar for his organs (China)  NorthernSpy   Aug-01-07 10:17 AM   #17 
  - Looking into the story a little further, there is room for some doubt.  hedgehog   Aug-01-07 01:52 PM   #27 
  - I Think You Misread  Crisco   Aug-01-07 06:05 PM   #29 
  - I'm going to take my name off the registry  MiserableFailure   Aug-01-07 06:26 PM   #32 
  - Please don't because of one rogue doc.  knitter4democracy   Aug-01-07 06:49 PM   #33 
     - Doctors don't take organs unless they're given permission to do so  MiserableFailure   Aug-01-07 07:16 PM   #35 
        - Again, one rogue surgeon doesn't make for it happening everywhere.  knitter4democracy   Aug-01-07 07:45 PM   #36 
           - even if the "rogue" doctor goes away, the incentive to pull the plug remains...  NorthernSpy   Aug-01-07 08:04 PM   #38 
  - Thoughts from doctors on similar problems with organ donation:  knitter4democracy   Aug-01-07 07:59 PM   #37 
  - I've carried a donor card since they became available & will continue to do so  Hekate   Aug-01-07 08:28 PM   #39 
  - Thank you k4d  FreedRadical   Aug-01-07 08:48 PM   #40 
     - I'm so sorry for your sister. I lost a kidney last fall.  knitter4democracy   Aug-02-07 06:24 PM   #51 
        - Was your tumor destroying itself? That's what happened  DemBones DemBones   Aug-02-07 10:55 PM   #54 
           - No, it was spreading.  knitter4democracy   Aug-03-07 09:04 AM   #56 
  - My friend has a bumper sticker that says:  DarbyUSMC   Aug-01-07 08:49 PM   #41 
  - Pay it forward made a good screenplay  FreedRadical   Aug-01-07 09:06 PM   #42 
  - Almanac of the Dead  BareNakedLiberal   Aug-02-07 12:56 AM   #43 
  - singsong: C..R..E..E..P..Y....  orleans   Aug-02-07 02:13 AM   #45 
  - I read an article by a doctor/med school prof recently that upset me.  DemBones DemBones   Aug-02-07 02:30 AM   #47 
     - Hubby says no.  knitter4democracy   Aug-02-07 06:37 PM   #52 
     - Hubby could be mistaken, could be unaware of unethical practices of others.  DemBones DemBones   Aug-02-07 10:51 PM   #53 
        - Brain aneurysm killed my aunt, too. It's a horrible thing.  knitter4democracy   Aug-03-07 01:42 PM   #57 
     - My mother recovered after being on a ventilator for a week eom  cutlassmama   Aug-03-07 05:18 AM   #55 
        - That's wonderful!  knitter4democracy   Aug-03-07 01:43 PM   #58 

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