Archives For Dr. Paul Byrne

Dr. Paul A. Byrne

Dr. Paul A. Byrne is a Board Certified Neonatologist and Pediatrician. He is the Founder of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis, MO. He is Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at The University of Toledo, College of Medicine. He is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and Fellowship of Catholic Scholars.

Dr. Byrne is past-President of the Catholic Medical Association (USA), formerly Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at St. Louis University in St. Louis, MO and Creighton University in Omaha, NE. He was Professor of Pediatrics and Chairman of the Pediatric Department at Oral Roberts University School of Medicine and Chairman of the Ethics Committee of the City of Faith Medical and Research Center in Tulsa, OK. He is author and producer of the film “Continuum of Life” and author of the books “Life, Life Support and Death”, “Beyond Brain Death,” and “Is ‘Brain Death’ True Death?”

Dr. Byrne has presented testimony on “life issues” to nine state legislatures beginning in 1967. He opposed Dr. Kevorkian on the television program “Cross-Fire.” He has been interviewed on Good Morning America, public television in Japan and participated in the British Broadcasting Corporation Documentary “Are the Donors Really Dead?” Dr. Byrne has authored articles against euthanasia, abortion, and “brain death” in medical journals, law literature and lay press.

Bernice Jones

Bernice Jones is a mom, who lost her son Brandon to Brain death and like me only later found out what brain death was. A legal fiction used to get organs from injured people not yet dead.

Yesterday, I was interviewed with Bernice at Radio Maria’s “The Quest for a Culture of Life in America with Steve Koob,Director One More Soul and Host for “The Quest for a Culture of Life in America”. (The video below is NOT the interview) 

William WilberforceThe Interview

Below is an interview that Dr. Paul Byrne and Bernice Jones did last week on another show. In the interview, you will hear exactly what I have been “trying” to say for years on this blog.

I know it is a bit long but well worth an hour of your time.

 

The most important thing you can do FIRST is DO NOT let the hospital do an Apnea Test. This is the first thing I advise parents who call me or their friends.

Dr. Cicero Coimbra said, “A large number of brain-injured patients, even in deep coma, can recover to lead a normal daily life; their nervous tissue may be only silent, not irreversibly damaged, as a consequence of a partial reduction of the blood supply to the brain.” (This phenomenon, called “ischemic penumbra,” was not known when the first neurological criteria for brain death were established 37 years ago.)

Dr. Yoshio Watanabe,a cardiologist from Nagoya, Japan concurred saying “that if patients were not subjected to the Apnea test, they could have a 60% chance of recovery to a normal life if treated by hypothermia. (deliberately induced cooling)

 

Brain death

Thanks to all of you who have been sending me email links to the recent news of Jahi McMath. I have been following the reports since the lawsuit was filed by the families attorney on Tuesday.

Jahi McMath

A photo of Jahi McMath that the family’s attorney says was taken Oct. 2, 2014. (Courtesy of Christopher Dolan)

Jahi was pronounced “brain dead” late last year. As the organ donation people circled her mother to give her organs to someone in need, the mother stood fast in her determination that her child was not dead. The only thing that kept her on a ventilator was going to court and getting a judge to release her into the care of her mother at another facility. It turns out that facility was in N.J where they honor a families request of not accepting the diagnosis of brain death based on religious grounds.

Before she was released from Oakland Children’s Hospital, she was given a death certificate by the corner in the California.

Many of the “experts” have been saying on blogs and forums that her body would shut down and disintegrate, calling her a cadaver. However, this has not happened.

It now appears she is responding to commands, has blood flow to the brain via an EEG and a MRI test.

Physicians Disagree

Tests and examinations of Jahi have been performed at Rutgers University in New Jersey with brain researchers and neurologists reviewing and performing them, Dolan said. Those working with the International Brain Research Foundation include Elena Labkovsky, who performed an EEG on Jahi, Cuban neurologist Dr. Calixto Machado and Dr. Charles Prestigiacomo, chair of the department of neurological surgery at Rutgers.

DeFina, who joined Thursday’s presentation by video, said an MRI shows Jahi’s brain is intact and that there is blood flow to it. He said tests show Jahi does not fit the criteria for brain death, though he would not say if that means she is in a persistent vegetated state or some other state.

Jahi McMath is continued evidence that a brain death definition is simply a tool of a fast growing industry that is aggressively attempting to fulfill the requests for healthy organs for transplants. For human organs to be successfully transplanted into another human being they must be fresh or vital which means being removed from a body that is still alive, is still functioning.

Organs from a dead body, a cadaver, are of no life-preserving value to another living human being.

When brain death was first invented at Harvard University in 1968, EEG’s were recommended. They are no longer used to show blood flow…well maybe in smaller rural hospital’s but not in huge transplant centers.

Advocates of brain death always contend that the condition is irreversible, giving the families involved no hope, telling families there is no possible chance of recovery.However, patients who have been pronounced brain dead are still living humans who are perhaps dying from a catastrophic injury to the brain and yet should not be treated as cadavers.

The issue

Jahi was pronounced brain dead by three different doctors in California. Now three or more doctors are saying she is alive and not brain dead. Although many people have awakened from a brain dead diagnosis, the physicians have ALWAYS said it was wrongly diagnosed. If the reports are true about Jahi and I have no reason to believe they are not, will they admit now that people do recover from a diagnosis of brain death?

Medical Director of Mayo Clinic in Arizona Mohamed Rady and JL Verheijde have advocated for the general public, medical community, legal and religious scholars to debate impaired consciousness and brain death.

Perhaps if the death certificate of Jahi McMath is overturned we will finally get that debate. (((One can only hope.))) Medical malpractice lawyers phoenix have mentioned this:

“The scientific uncertainty of defining and determining states of impaired consciousness including brain death have been neither disclosed to the general public nor broadly debated by the medical community or by legal and religious scholars. Heart-beating or non-heart-beating organ procurement from patients with impaired consciousness is de facto a concealed practice of physician-assisted death, and therefore, violates both criminal law and the central tenet of medicine not to do harm to patients. Society must decide if physician-assisted death is permissible and desirable to resolve the conflict about procuring organs from patients with impaired consciousness within the context of the perceived need to enhance the supply of transplantable organs.”

Dr. Paul Byrne, a family consultant and recognized authority on the subject of brain death, upon learning that experts are suggesting that Jahi’s continued presence in the world of the living might be “nothing short of a miracle” responded by saying:

Of course, they would have to say something like that since, being scientists they could not admit that their “universally accepted definition of brain death is wrong.”

Jahi shows every indication of being an integrative, functioning human being. Her body has not disintegrated, the attorney has provided videos showing her moving her feet and hands on command, her body is processing nutrients, she has even begun menstrual periods.  Imagine that a dead person starting her period. (((snark)))

Jahi has healed from her tonsilectomy surgery. No dead body has the capability of healing itself.

 If there is any miracle involved, said Byrne, it is the fact that Jahi’s mother has been successful in keeping the organ donation industry away from her daughter.

Knowing what I know of other families who were pressured into donating their loved one’s organs, many living with horrible regrets…I have to agree that IS a miracle that Nailah Wakefield has been able to do that.

***I hope to get back to blogging here regularly, as a Realtor in Michigan, my busy season is the summer. I have been saving a lot of articles I will share with you in future posts.***

Murder Redefined….Brain death is NOT True Death

Everyday across America and the world people are dying after their organs are taken. NOT before.

In order for your organs to be taken you must have a beating heart and your lungs must be working. The old definition of death is the cessation of circulatory and respiratory. Since 1968 it has included the brain. Brain death was invented in 1968, INVENTED not done by scientific studies at all.

A person in a coma, is alive but unresponsive. They are only checking the responses found in the brain stem. The are not checking the cortex of the brain, which is the largest part of the brain.  Testing the brain stem or the part of it they test, they are testing the reflexes. THE ONLY function of the brain stem they are testing is the part to take in a breath. They are not all the functions they are testing, they are only some the reflexes .

The brain stem function that is tested is to take IN a breath. All the other tests on the brain stem are reflexes, shinning the light in the eye, or putting cotton in the eye. They test 5 or 6 of the brain stem not the other 14. The patient has to SHOW THE DOCTORS LOOKING that they have the reflexes and functions. If they don’t show them then that is the SIGNAL to have their heart cut out.

Now here is an injured in a coma, and they are asking them to breathe on their own, and blink when cotton is put in their eyes.

UAGA ( Uniform Anatomical Gift Act) allowed people to give their organs. But, they had to be given after death. In 47 states changed the words after death to NEAR death. Near death is alive. It presumes everyone wants to be an organ donor.

The ventilator pushes air in the lungs. The living body pushes the air out. It only substitutes for the part of the body to breathe air in. If a cadaver was hooked up, air could and would send air in, but it could not breathe air out.

Why?

They are truly dead.

Brain Waves

Why don’t they test for brain waves? The Harvard criteria allowed it. In 1971 in the Minnesota criteria it was disallowed completely. Electrodes are put on the patients scalp, it records the brain activity. Same thing with my son Jamie, they did a sonogram, it showed blood flow, the report said not confirmatory for brain death. Did they change the diagnosis from brain death?

No, they said they “expected to see some blood flow”.

Did they tell us that?

No

Go ahead and ask the doctors to check for brain waves, if you have a loved one in a serious accident and pronounced brain dead. The hospital will say NO.

While organ donation can be a gift of life and a worthy goal, a civilized society must not allow the deaths of some people to be manipulated to obtain organs for others. We must demand transparency from organ transplant organizations. Nancy Valko, RN. 

 

Jahi McMath Dead or Alive

December 24, 2013 — 1 Comment

Jahi McMathYou would have to be hiding under a rock not to somehow have been exposed to the story of Jahi McMath, the 13-year-old child who is being pronounced “brain dead” after complications from a tonsillectomy.

Jahi had surgery on December 16th, shortly afterwards she began bleeding and went into cardiac arrest. The doctors at Oakland Children’s Hospital have pronounced her “brain dead” and want to turn off life support.

The family does not believe she is dead and in order to keep her on life support to give her time to heal had to hire an outside attorney to go to court for an injunction.

I have been following the case daily, and am supporting them via a Facebook page that Jahi’s uncle Omari Sealey has started on her behalf.

What a shame that the family had to get a court order to get a second opinion. If your child was being pronounced dead, wouldn’t you think it was your right to have a second opinion by an outside physician?

The story has been complicated by the fact that Children’s Hospital has a protocol that the family can not read the medical records until she has died or been released.

I thought that was funny as she has been pronounced dead by the brain death criteria, which is the legal, medical definition of death added in 1981. Yet, the hospital is not considering that dead enough to let them read the medical records, but dead enough to take her off life support.

The family would like my friend and doctor Paul Byrne to come in and give that opinion. However the family did not have a choice in which doctor to offer the second opinion.The judge ordered a second opinion from a local doctor at Stanford to give his opinion. He may be fine, no one knows but I can’t find any research papers on him writing or commenting on “brain death”.

Dr. Paul Byrne wrote an article here on the situation and I encourage you to read it.

Dr. Byrne has been speaking and writing on brain death for 50 years, in my opinion he would be a better choice to review the records and see Jahi.

Paul read ALL of my son’s Jamie’s records, and no I didn’t even ask him too. He found that Vanderbilt did the Apnea test for 24 minutes, not the typical 10 minutes. We knew the Apnea test was done wrong, they admitted that with the Pco2 was started too high. It should have been started at <40.

Dr. Cicero Coimbra

Dr. Cicero Coimbra argued: A large number of brain-injured patients, even in deep coma, can recover to lead a normal daily life; their nervous tissue may be only silent, not irreversibly damaged, as a consequence of a partial reduction of the blood supply to the brain. (This phenomenon, called “ischemic penumbra,” was not known when the first neurological criteria for brain death were established 37 years ago.

People HAVE awakened from being pronounced brain dead before even though doctors always blame the tests were done wrong and refused to believe any success stories.

Consider following the families journey on Facebook here.

Most of all join me in praying. To say my heart is breaking for this family is well…an understatement.

Thank you for reading my blog this year, thank you for so many of you reaching out to me, most of all thank you for all the people who have emailed me to learn how to get off the organ registry.

Merry Christmas from my family to you !

Catholic teaching on death and organ transplantation

Paul A. Byrne, M.D.

Catholic morality is expected to be good for not only Catholics but also many others. Pope Benedict XVI instructed morally on organ transplantation on November 7, 2008. Pope Pius XII, Pope John Paul II, the Councils of Vienne and the Fifth Lateran and the Catechism of the Catholic Church also contribute related teachings.

The following is a compilation of these teachings.

Pope Benedict XVIPope Benedict XVI on Nov 7, 2008 stated:

“Individual vital organs cannot be extracted except ex cadavere, which, more-over, possesses its own dignity that must be respected”

“The principal criteria of respect for the life of the donator must always prevail so that the extraction of organs be performed only in the case of his/her true death. (cf. Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 476).”

The Catholic Catechism 2296 states:

“…it is not morally admissible directly to bring about the disabling mutilation or death of a human being, even in order to delay the death of other persons.”

While “brain death” and organ transplantation were not being considered in the 13th century, the direction from the Council of Vienne, 1311-1313 still holds:

“Moreover, with the approval of the said council, we reject as erroneous and contrary to the truth of the catholic faith every doctrine or proposition rashly asserting that the substance of the rational or the intellectual soul is not of itself and essentially the form of the human body, or casting doubt on this matter. In order that all may know the truth of the faith in its purity and all error may be excluded, we define that anyone who presumes henceforth to assert, defend or hold stubbornly that the rational or intellectual soul is not the form of the human body of itself and essentially, is to be considered a heretic.” The Fifth Lateran Council, 19 December 1513, reaffirmed this position. The Catholic Catechism 365, citing the Council of Vienne, states that “…the unity of soul and body is so profound that one has to consider the soul to be the ‘form’ of the body. . . .”

Pope Pius XIIPope Pius XII in 1957 in an Address to anesthesiologist stated:

“But considerations of a general nature allow us to believe that human life continues for as long as its vital functions – distinguished from the simple life of organs – manifest themselves spontaneously or even with help of artificial processes.”

In the same Address Pope Pius XII stated:

“In case of insoluble doubt, one must resort to presumptions of law and of fact. In general, it will be necessary to presume that life remains, because there is involved here a fundamental right received from the Creator, and it is necessary to prove with certainty that it has been lost.” (Underline added.)

Also, Pope Pius XII in an Address about corneal transplantation stated:

“Public authorities and the laws which concern the use of corpses should, in general, be guided by these same moral and human considerations, since they are based on human nature itself, which takes precedence over society in the order of causality and in dignity. In particular, public authorities have the duty to supervise their enforcement and above all to take care that a ‘corpse’ shall not be considered and treated as such until death has been sufficiently proved.”

Pope John PaulPope John Paul II in 1991 to a Group on Organ Transplants stated:

“Furthermore, a person can only donate that of which he can deprive himself without serious danger or harm to his own life or personal identity, and for a just and proportionate reason. It is obvious that vital organs can only be donated after [true] death.”

Pope John Paul II to the Participants of the 1989 Pontifical Academy of Sciences stated:

 

“The problem of the moment of [true] death has serious implications at the practical level, and this aspect is also of great interest to the Church. In practice, there seems to arise a tragic dilemma. On the one hand there is the urgent need to find replacement organs for sick people who would otherwise die or at least would not recover. In other words, it is conceivable that in order to escape certain and imminent death a patient may need to receive an organ which could be provided by another patient, who may be lying next to him in hospital, but about whose death there still remains some doubt. Consequently, in the process there arises the danger of terminating a human life, of definitively disrupting the psychosomatic unity of a person. More precisely, there is a real possibility that the life whose continuation is made unsustainable by the removal of a vital organ may be that of a living person, whereas the respect due to human life absolutely prohibits the direct and positive sacrifice of that life, even though it may be for the benefit of another human being who might be felt to be entitled to preference.”

In the same Address Pope John Paul II stated:

“Death can mean decomposition, disintegration, a separation. (cf. Salvifici Doloris, n.15; Gaudium et Spes, n. 18). It occurs when the spiritual principle which ensures the unity of the individual can no longer exercise its functions in and upon the organism, whose elements left to themselves, disintegrate.”

The Gospel of LifePope John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae, (n. 15), stated:

“Nor can we remain silent in the face of other more furtive, but no less serious and real, forms of euthanasia. These could occur for example when, in order to increase the availability of organs for transplants, organs are removed without respecting objective and adequate criteria which verify the death of the donor.”

Evangelium Vitae, (n. 15) includes: “The deliberate decision to deprive an innocent human being of his life is always morally evil and can never be licit either as an end in itself or as a means to a good end.”

Evangelium Vitae, (n. 57), quotes from the 1980 Declaration on Euthanasia:

“Nothing and no one can in any way permit the killing of an innocent human being, whether a fetus or an embryo, an infant or an adult, an old person, or one suffering from an incurable disease or a person who is dying. Furthermore, no one is permitted to ask for this act of killing, either for himself or herself or for another person entrusted to his or her care, nor can he or she consent to it, either explicitly or implicitly. Nor can any authority legitimately recommend or permit such an action.”

Pope John Paul II in his address to US Catholic Bishops of California, Nevada and Hawaii on October 2, 1998 stated:

“Catholic moral teaching is an essential part of our heritage of faith; we must see to it that it is faithfully transmitted, and take appropriate measures to guard the faithful from the deceit of opinions which dissent from it (cf Veritatis Splendor, 26 and 113). Although the Church often appears as a sign of contradiction, in defending the whole moral law firmly and humbly she is upholding truths which are indispensable for the good of humanity and for the safeguarding of civilization itself. Our teaching must be clear; it must recognize the drama of the human condition, in which we all struggle with sin and in which we must all strive, with the help of grace, to embrace the good (cf Gaudium et Spes, 13). Our task as teachers is to show the inviting splendor of that truth which is Jesus Christ Himself’ (Veritatis Splendor, 83). Living the moral life involves holding fast to the very person of Jesus, partaking of His life and destiny, sharing in His free and loving obedience to the will of the Father.”

Pope John Paul II’s prepared comments to the participants of the February 3-4, 2005 Signs of Death conference include:

“Within the horizon of Christian anthropology, it is well known that the moment of death for each person consists in the definitive loss of the constitutive unity of body and spirit. Each human being, in fact, is alive precisely insofar as he or she is ‘corpore et anima unus’ (“Gaudium et Spes,” 14), and he or she remains so for as long as this substantial unity-in-totality subsists. In the light of this anthropological truth, it is clear, as I have already had occasion to observe, that the death of the person, understood in this primary sense, is an event which no scientific technique or empirical method can identify directly” (Address of 29 August 2000, 4, in: AAS 92 [2000], 824).

The statements of Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Pius XII, Pope John Paul II, the Council of Vienne, the Council of the Fifth Lateran, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, make it clear that excision of individual vital organs, i.e., organs that are single in the body, e.g., the heart and whole liver cannot be initiated when the soul-body unity is present.

At the very least, if the separation of life from the body cannot be verified, or if there is doubt about the separation of life from the body, organ excision is morally prohibited and should not be allowed.

[In the above “true” has been inserted in brackets to clarify that the Church cannot use death to be anything other than true death, which is translated from Latin, mors vera. The official Catechism in Latin uses post mortem for after death.]

Dr. Paul A. Byrne is a Board Certified Neonatologist and Pediatrician. He is the Founder of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis, MO. He is Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at University of Toledo, College of Medicine. He is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and Fellowship of Catholic Scholars.

Dr. Byrne is past-President of the Catholic Medical Association (USA), formerly Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at St. Louis University in St. Louis, MO and Creighton University in Omaha, NE. He was Professor of Pediatrics and Chairman of the Pediatric Department at Oral Roberts University School of Medicine and Chairman of the Ethics Committee of the City of Faith Medical and Research Center in Tulsa, OK. He is author and producer of the film “Continuum of Life” and author of the books “Life, Life Support and Death,” “Beyond Brain Death,” and “Is ‘Brain Death’ True Death?”

Dr. Byrne has presented testimony on “life issues” to nine state legislatures beginning in 1967. He opposed Dr. Kevorkian on the television program “Cross-Fire.” He has been interviewed on Good Morning America, public television in Japan and participated in the British Broadcasting Corporation Documentary “Are the Donors Really Dead?” Dr. Byrne has authored articles against euthanasia, abortion, and “brain death” in medical journals, law literature and lay press.

See www.lifeguardianfoundation.org for more information.

 

© Copyright 2013 by Paul A. Byrne, M.D.

http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/byrne/130207

Used with Permission