If you are declared brain dead, are you dead or alive?
According to the law you are dead.
According to your body,which is warm,pink,producing urine and the heart beating you are alive.
In 1968 a group of 13 men met at Harvard University in Boston. The purpose of the meeting was to redefine irreversible coma as a new criterion of death. Now a person who was in a coma could be pronounced dead. Up until this time in the United States the definition of death was simple. You were dead when your heart stopped beating and you stopped breathing. This Harvard ad hoc committee met for the purpose of redefining death so that a person in a what was determined to be an irreversible coma could be declared dead. The definition of death had to be changed In order to take vital organs from severely injured patients or those in a coma.
On August 5th, 1968 the Harvard Committee published their report, “A Definition of Irreversible Coma,” in the Journal of American Medicine. It is commonly known today at the Harvard Criteria and is the most sited story on brain death. There were NO clinical trials or animal trials done, only a new definition of death. “Brain death was concocted, it was made up in order to get organs. It was never based on science” says Dr. Paul Byrne,Board Certified Neonatologist and Pediatrician and Past President of the Catholic Medical Association.
Uniform Definition of Death Act
On October 19,1980 the American Medical Association and on February 10,1981 the American Bar Association passed the first Uniform Definition of Death Act.
The Uniform Determination of Death Act is currently accepted and practiced in all 50 states reads:
- An individual who has sustained either (1) irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions, or (2) irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem, is dead. A determination of death must be made in accordance with accepted medical standards.
I mean would you really check the box at the Secretary of State if you were “almost dead”?
Are you dead in the way you typically think about death?
In The City of God, Book XIII, Chap. 11, St Augustine addresses the question, “Can one be both living and dead at the same time?” He replies in the negative, that there is no third state — one is either alive or dead. A man may be dying but he is still alive until he is dead and his soul is separated from his body.
Life and death CANNOT and DO NOT exist at the same time in the same person.
Think about that.
To be continued…On the changes of the Revised UDDA of 2006.