I’m profoundly conflicted, as a human being and as a Christian, by this news from the medical front.
With little attention or debate, transplant surgeons across the country are experimenting with a kind of partial resurrection: They’re allowing terminal patients to die, then restarting their hearts while clamping off blood flow to their brains. The procedure allows the surgeons to inspect and remove organs from warm bodies with heartbeats.
Transplant surgeons and several bioethicists argue that the procedure is appropriate and crucial to boosting the number of organs that are available for transplant. But critics — including other bioethicists and the nation’s second-largest physician organization — warn that surgeons are trampling the line between life and death.
. . .
The 160,000-member ACP [American College of Physicians], the second-largest U.S. physician group after the American Medical Association, has raised the loudest alarm about the NRP-cDCD procedure. In a 2021 policy statement, the organization warned that it “raises significant ethical concerns and questions regarding the dead donor rule, fundamental ethical obligations of respect, beneficence, and justice, and the imperative to never use one individual merely as a means to serve the ends of another, no matter how noble or good those ends may be.”
Matthew DeCamp, MD, PhD, a bioethicist at the University of Colorado and a consultant to ACP, was lead author of a 2022 commentary in the journal Chest opposing the procedure.
“You’re reversing the conditions under which death is declared and taking active steps to ensure the progression to brain death,” he told MedPage Today. “The person is declared dead, and the subsequent actions invalidate that declaration” … “Imagine you’re an outside observer watching this procedure take place. You’d be unable to distinguish whether it was proceeding to organ transplantation or the resuscitation of the patient.”
There’s more at the link.
I’m sure the medical “ethicists” (in this case, that may be a contradiction in terms) have their own reasons for approving of this procedure; but I can’t help thinking of it as the nearest thing possible to deliberate killing. Restarting the heart while shutting off blood to the brain? What else can you call that but killing? Without the shutting off of blood, the brain would react normally, and reanimate the body.
I fear this is the inevitable consequence of doing away with the concept of “soul”; the thing that makes a human being, human; a spiritual concept that goes beyond mere flesh and blood. If one regards the body as just flesh and blood, with no spiritual component at all, then human life itself is no more than flesh and blood. When they fail, human life of necessity ends right there. There’s no need to think of one’s humanity as more than merely physical, and certainly no need to take account of God and eternity, because neither of those concepts is physical.
Needless to say, no Christian (and no believer from Islamic, Judaic, or many other faith traditions) will accept that; but our voices no longer count in the soulless, post-spiritual corridors of medical power. It’s all about utility, about harvesting the maximum possible number of organs to transplant (very profitably, needless to say) into patients desperate for them.
In the ultimate obscenity, that’s what allows China to offer an “organs-on-demand” service to transplant patients from overseas, taking them from those whom the Communist Party has deemed politically incorrect and transplanting them into well-heeled patients from other countries. To find a matching organ donor in the USA can take months, even years, but in China – thanks to a large pool of available (and involuntary) “donors”, perhaps numbering in the millions – they can often do it in a matter of weeks. That’s great for the patient, if you don’t mind having on your conscience (if any) the fact that someone was murdered to give you the organ(s) you needed to live. Sadly, judging by the number of transplants China performs, many don’t have such a conscience at all.
I find this whole situation horrifying. Imagine being in an accident and being taken to hospital. You registered as an organ donor some years ago, perhaps doing so idly while renewing your driver’s license. Now, as you’re wheeled into the ER, you know that if things don’t go well for you, there will be doctors – perhaps the same medical staff you’re trusting to save your life – salivating at the thought of deliberately allowing you to die, or even accelerating the process, in order to harvest your organs for profit. So much for dedicated medical care! If that doesn’t scare the living daylights out of you, it should!
I respectfully suggest that readers click on the first link in this post prior to posting any comments they may have. Scroll past several paragraphs in the article down to where what happens is described.
Just "NO", Peter.
Dead is dead. When the heart ceases, the brain dies. That's dead.
We can keep human vegetables warm for months or years, but they're brain-dead, and everybody but the family living in denial knows it.
Brain damage starts in 2-3 minutes.
Restarting a muscle like the heart is far simpler, and imperative for harvesting donor organs.
We frequently see 5-7 teams working simultaneously to use every possible part from a single deceased donor, and maintaining circulation while that process takes place is the only way to provide the time (and real estate) for those teams to each get in and do what they do.
They're operating on DEAD patients, not harvesting organs from the living.
Hysterical hand-waving about what's actually going on adds only heat to the situation, not light.
You've got any evidence they're harvesting donor organs from live patients? Bring it forth. (I'll match paychecks with anyone it isn't happening, at least in the West. No deal on China.)
We have the medical tech to maintain a beating heart, or even restart one that's stopped, and ventilate a patient with a brain too dead to send that signal.
We do not have the means to restart a dead brain. Probably never will.
This isn't medical staff "salivating at the prospect of you dying". that's a word I won't use on your blog from simple respect for your blog standards, but's it what comes out of the southern tailpipe of a north-bound horse, and you should know better.
The transplant teams are almost never the trauma teams, and the two have entirely different focuses.
But once you're dead, you're dead, and trauma that leads to death is seldom reversible by any means, or we'd have done so.
Less 1950s bad sci-fi/horror porn, please.
So, for patients whom they intend to allow to die anyways (withdrawing life support), transplant surgeons are putting them back on partial life support in order to better acquire the organs?
Also, I think you need to read this, because by all accounts the horror story is not in how our medical system kills people, but by how it keeps them alive:
"You're reversing the conditions under which death is declared and taking active steps to ensure the progression to brain death," he told MedPage Today. "The person is declared dead, and the subsequent actions invalidate that declaration."
No, they aren't, and that idiot is the hysterical twit hyperventilating all over the place.
Death in a terminal patient is declared.
Y'know, like doctors have done for centuries:
i.e. "He's dead, Jim."
Then, transplant physicians act externally to perfuse and restart the heart muscle, which is not "re-animation", it's simply perfusion to facilitate transplant on a deceased donor patient, i.e. the exact type of donor patients we've harvested organs from since EVER.
Conflating what China does with this procedure is like comparing arsonists to firemen because they're both at a fire.
You've been had.
Medical "ethics" have gotten much worse since we warned about the https://bayourenaissanceman.blogspot.com/2012/02/dangers-of-living-will.html haven't they Peter?
And as for outright murder, how about our Secretary of Defense advocating it as a strategic necessity? http://www.danielgreenfield.org/2022/10/bidens-defense-department-urges-killing.html
Biden’s Secretary of Defense sponsored a Rand paper which claims abortion is vital to national security. The paper, “How the Dobbs Decision Could Affect U.S. National Security”, warns that the inability to promptly kill children due to the Supreme Court’s decision will lead to “higher health care, child care, and education costs”. [emphasis added]
Welcome to Moloch Worshiper Spring?
Just an engineer, not a medical type, never played one on TV, but…
If a heart stops, isn't it common to try and restart it?
@Aesop "…Dead is dead. When the heart ceases, the brain dies. That's dead. …".
So why do we have defibrillators?
My layman's understanding is that sometimes the heart stops, it's shocked with a defib and resumes beating. If it doesn't stay stopped for a some period of time, the person can still recover.
In your definition, my fiancee' is a zombie because her heart stopped and the doctors defibrillated her, got it going again and she recovered.
I always thought "brain dead" was the criteria, not the heart stopping?
Sounds like something out of a Larry Niven Sci-Fi novel that I read. As I remember a person was sentenced to death for jay walking and his body was harvested for transplant under the laws of the regime in the book
Aesop would like to maintain that there are no unethical doctors in spite of the fact that there are entire hospitals willing to mutilate the chests and bodies and genitals of children due to woke politics. It simply doesn't matter that the trauma team and the transplant team are not necessarily going to be the same staff. The hospital administrators are the ones who set policy and the two teams may both benefit in a financial sense from pursuing the policies of the hospital administrators, who may be influenced by any number of medically unethical factors. Would you like me to list the huge number of medical atrocities committed in America since 1776?
We can start with the syphilis studies done on uninformed and unwilling African American males in Mississippi and continue on to the policies in effect prior to 1980 whereby poor BIPOC women were forcibly and unwillingly and sometimes unwittingly sterilized against their will. Then bounce forward in time to the mutilation of children who have been indoctrinated in the belief they will be happier if doctors change their physical sexual attributes to some approximation of that of the opposite sex. We can discuss Thalidomide and why it took decades to have that be taken off the market and no longer subscribed.
AESOP, as an aging White Male who gets heartily sick of being told we are the reason the world is perceived as awful, I know you don't want to be told your profession is responsible for a long list of atrocities but this is not about you. You didn't do it. But it is a certainty that others have committed atrocities and there will be more forthcoming.
This is because Peter conflated apples with pineapples.
Sorry, but there it is.
1) Hearts stop for all sorts of reasons.
a) trauma (which features 0% in the article, but prominently in the above OP)
b) cardiac defect
3) cerebral defect
2) You don't defibrillate all heart stoppages.
a) Traumatic full arrest: Roughly 0% chance of resuscitation. Either because a GSW/knife/jagged rib has put a large hole in the pump, and/or you've leaked all that handy-to-have blood all over the floor, your chest cavity, etc., (frequently both options at the same time) and your heart has flipped you the bird, and checked out of further activities.
b) cardiac arrest: You weren't done living but your heart was. Bummer. If it's one of only two shockable rhythms, we shock it. If not, as in 80% of cases, we try and reverse treatable problems (e.g electrolyte imbalance, etc.) while doing CPR, and hoping we can persuade it to punch back in and get to work. Usually about a 10% chance, overall, and for in-hospital arrests, the chances drop by about 7%/minute starting at first arrest, so by 15 minutes (unless you were drowned in ice-cold water) the chances of a restart are a hard 0%. During which time, unless you were getting high-quality CPR, your brain started dying too. At 6 minutes (again, except for cold water immersion) Mr. Brain left the building, and this is corpse practice. Every. Single. Time. Giant cardiac blood clot? That heart muscle cannot perfuse, and it ain't coming back.
3) cerebral defect
stroke, overdose, cancer, whatever: the part of your brain (the stem) at the base, which controls autonomic functions, has said "Closing time – gotta go.".
We also don't defibrillate hearts on terminal patients who've said "Don't Effing Do That, Idiots!" by signing a DNR order, because we don't resuscitate people just to prolong their terminal suffering from things like excruciating cancers, etc., which is exactly the type of patient ACTUALLY described in the sourcelink article. When that heart stops, we pull the sheet over the face, note the time of death, and notify the family, their doctor, the coroner, and the transplant agency(ies), to see if the patient is even a candidate for transplant.
In the case above, with a known patient near death, they wait until they die, pronouce, and then restart the heart (when possible) to buy time to harvest the other organs. As this never involves the brain, and re-perfusing the brain would literally drag someone back into the agonizing death that took them, just to suffer a little more, and then die again, (how many times d'ya figure that sort of torture should be legal?) so they prevent cerebral reperfusion.
Reperfusing the brain and then harvesting organs from a living patient would unspeakable horror, and is exactly the type of situation not being described here.
If someone had said that the laws concerning this process were hopelessly out of date and written by 80-IQ medical idiots. and politicians, (but I repeat myself) who don't understand the basic physiology of the death process nor current technology, and should be re-written to reflect medical reality, rather than wholesale ignorance, and respect human life and dignity, rather than cater to knee-jerk stupidity, I'd have no problem with that.
But that was not the suggestion on offer.
thank you, peter
Life(death) imitating art.
See: The 1978 film "Coma" based on the Robin Cook novel.
This is seriously creepy and I want no part of it.
Donor Status changing to NO
I thought of that too, one of his better books.
I changed my donor status a few years ago since I've heard of "issues" happening when listed donors were severely injured.
Coming soon to America I suspect
BTW the word is the Mental Issues ban against medical assistance in dying is likely next year. PTSD or Conspiracy Theory issues? we can help (said the Government.
Sounds uncomfortable – "The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. Instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views…which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering." Doctor Who/Tom Baker
You're right, of course.
The presence of one bad apple tree is a good reason to burn down all the orchards on the planet, just as Dr. Mengele is proof all medicine is corrupt, and it was silly of me to ignore that.
Sorry you couldn't address the facts of the case in the OP on offer.
See the Wizard for your Ph.D. in Logic.