Nevada Doctor Needed

Nevada Doctor Needed Aden is a 20-year-old college student who had abdominal pain on April 1, 2015. Exploratory surgery was done; her normal appendix was removed after finding no disease in her abdomen. As the surgery was ending, Aden’s blood pressure and heart rate went down. Since then Aden has not awakened. She has been diagnosed as “brain dead,” the doctors have related this to lack of oxygen. Aden continues to live on a ventilator with nutrition in a vein. The doctors at the Nevada hospital informed the family that the ventilator would be removed on July 2 at 5 PM. That afternoon a petition from the father was heard in Court.

My testimony was that Aden is not truly dead. Aden has many signs of being alive although the doctors and hospital have been declaring that Aden is “brain dead” since the middle of April. Besides the findings that result in the doctors determining that Aden is “brain dead,” laboratory tests show that Aden suffers from hypothyroidism.

Aden needs life-saving and life-preserving thyroid hormone, a tracheostomy (like patients on a ventilator for a prolonged period), and a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube to provide nutrition through her stomach.

During the court proceedings the hospital administrator agreed to allow physician(s) licensed in Nevada, after the physician(s) has(have) been properly credentialed at their hospital, for that physician(s) to order (if he or she wishes) thyroid medication, a tracheostomy and gastrostomy. Having a tracheostomy and gastrostomy are necessary to facilitate transfer and care to a long-term care facility or her home. If you are a physician licensed in Nevada and willing to evaluate this patient and participate in treating this patient, please contact me immediately.

What happens after a determination of “brain death,” is that the life preserving ventilator is continued until it is convenient to either remove the vital organs for transplantation or discontinue the ventilator. Both result in true death. Many physicians are participating in such determination and subsequent actions. Others are non-participants because these actions are not within the scope of their practice. The majority of people including physicians and lawyers know little or nothing about the issues of “brain death.” Of the many who do know; it seems that they surmise that it is okay if physicians and lawyers are participating.

Furthermore, most, possibly everyone, have some ideas, thoughts or a concept of death. When the term “brain death” is heard, many think or believe “brain death” to be true death. Everyone with a determination of “brain death” has a beating heart, circulation respiration and interdependent functioning of their heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, spleen, bone marrow and intestines, etc. “Brain dead” is applied to patients who are unconscious and not taking a breath on their own. While parts of the brain may not be showing evidence of activity or functioning it does not necessarily mean destruction of the entire brain much less true death of the person (Latin: mors vera). True death of the person comes after the ventilator is removed, or vital organs are cut out.

There would not have been any difficulties if Aden’s father would have succumbed to the recommendation of the physicians who declared Aden to be “brain dead.” But it made no sense to Aden’s father who realized his daughter was seriously ill, but not dead. The life-supporting ventilator provides a breath for Aden every 5 seconds. Aden’s heart beats about 100,000 times a day without a pacemaker or medications. Aden’s father (also legal Guardian) directed doctors not to do an apnea test. Nevertheless, the apnea test was done. (The apnea test is not the familiar test for sleep apnea.) When the apnea test was done, the life supporting ventilator was taken away from Aden for 10 minutes. This caused Aden’s carbon dioxide to go sky high and caused severe acidosis. Every doctor knows that severe acidosis is not good for any patient.

The apnea test will do nothing for the individual patient except possibly cause harm to their already injured brain. It is done in order to show that the brain centers that usually respond to higher levels of carbon dioxide are not functioning to initiate a breath and thereby allow doctors to make the diagnosis of “brain death.” But in doing the test, elevated carbon dioxide and acidosis can cause the brain to swell even more and impair function even more. This test was not good for Aden. When she did not breathe on her own, it allowed the doctors to call her “brain dead.” Once that diagnosis was made and the family was told that care would be discontinued, the father needed to go to court to fight to have the necessary care for his daughter. Furthermore in court, it was learned that am apnea test was done to Aden more than once.

Realize that my objective is not to be against that hospital or those doctors. It is to be for Aden, her life and health. Aden, albeit with the diagnosis of “brain death,” with a spontaneously beating heart, even if she needs a ventilator to breathe, is simply not truly dead! Perhaps treatment with thyroid medication, tracheostomy and PEG tube will protect and preserve her life. Abruptly taking away the ventilator very likely will result in her death. Probably many would be supportive of protecting and preserving Aden’s life.

Is there one physician licensed in Nevada who will come forward to try to help?

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.

Paul was married to Shirley for forty-eight years until she entered her eternal reward on Christmas 2005. They are the proud parents of twelve children, grandparents of thirty-one grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.

© Copyright 2015 by Paul A. Byrne, M.D.

http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/byrne/150706

Independence Day

John Adams quote Last night my children and I started watching the HBO Special on John Adams. It was my second time to see it and I believe it is always good to refresh our minds on the price paid and the principles that led to the founding of our nation. 

The price is still being paid today as we continue to send our young men and women to fight for our freedom and liberty both home and abroad.

Today most of politician’s and most of American’s refer to America as a democracy; yet it was the one issue that our Founding Fathers were adamant about is that the United States was a Republic and NOT a Democracy.

There is NOWHERE  in our Constitution or Bill of Rights that uses the word Democracy. Oh, you learned it in your school books, we all did. Today when we hear politicians and TV anchorman speak they NEVER use the word Republic only a Democracy. 

I have always wanted to ask people in power and those in authority to explain the difference and watch many of them stutter. 

Why is it important to know the difference?

The following quote attributed to Professor Alexander Fraser Tyler who was writing back when America was still a colony:

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of Government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury with a result that a democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy, always to be followed by a Dictatorship. 

Article 4 Section 4 of our Constitution guarantees to every state in the Union a Republican form of government.

Heroes of History by Janet and Geoff BengeThirty-eight years after the Declaration of Independence was written, John Adams warned,

 “A democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There never was a democracy that didn’t commit suicide.”

Can you name one that democracy that has lasted?

Are we headed that way?

The progression of a democracy, where do you think America is?

From Bondage to Spiritual Faith

From Spiritual Faith to Great Courage

From Great Courage to Liberty

From Liberty to Abundance

From Abundance to Complacency

                                          From Complacency to Apathy

                                                  From Apathy to Dependency

                                                          From Dependency back to Bondage 

The Declaration of Independence contains the principles of a Republican form of government. All men are created equal with certain unalienable rights that governments are formed by men to secure these rights and that governments derive their power from the consent of the governed.

The essence a Republic is the rule of law. This law is common law and scientific law. It does not change.

Our founders knew history, and they understood this cycle. They knew the natural course for governments was to grow bigger and more powerful. They also knew the more powerful the government, the weaker its people. They wrote a constitution that prevented the unbridled growth of the national government.

As James Madison wrote in Federalist Paper #45, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined and will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce.

The Pledge of Allegiance starts out, “I pledge allegiance to the Flag, and to the Republic for which it stands,  one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

In the strictest sense of the word, the system of government established by the Constitution was never intended to be a “democracy.”

This is evident not only in the wording of the Pledge of Allegiance but in the Constitution itself which declares that “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government” (Article IV, Section 4).

Watching John Adams last night allowed me to see once again how many times the colonist tried to address the issue’s that King George was imposing on them by limiting their freedom. (I had to wonder what would have happened IF he had been more understanding of the colonists desire to be heard and responded with inclusion.)

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Unalienable Rights

Unalienable rights are given by God, it is a uniquely American philosophy. It teaches that Man, the individual is endowed at birth with rights that are unalienable because they are given by God.

The Right to Life

The Right for Liberty

The Right to the pursuit of happiness

To list ALL the rights of the individual that flow from those three would add up to all of man’s freedom. Suffice it to say, we have seen many of those assumed rights like parental rights taken away daily.

Parental Rights

To see children being taken from loving families because the government doesn’t like your views on raising your kids, educating them the way you see fit, choosing to vaccinate or not, disagreeing and asking for a second medical opinion and having your kids medically kidnapped IS a violation of our UNALIENABLE rights.

Burns Family

stanley family

Dingle sisters

isaiah Ryder and mom MIchelle

Justina protest

We must get back to what Thomas Jefferson said, as he admonished Supreme Court Justice William Johnson:

“On every question of construction, carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.” Thomas Jefferson, Memoir, Correspondence, and Miscellanies, From the papers of Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Randolph, editor (Boston: Gray and Bowen, 1830), Vol IV, p. 373, to Judge William Johnson on June 12 1823.

Think how much better that would be.

The Declaration and The Colonists grievances

I have copied our Declaration and the grievances the colonist did their best to address with King George for your review.

The Declaration of Independence

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,—That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only. 
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Two things, teach your kids…they aren’t learning this is public schools.

Second, how do you feel our freedoms and liberties are being violated today, leave in the comments.

His Story and His Truth is marching on.

Brain Death is not biological death

1) the lack of all brain functions does not correlate to the cessation of the functioning of the organism (us) as a whole.

2)  An organism with a complete lack of brain function, if maintained on a ventilator, can nonetheless maintain certain homeostasis-maintaining biological functions, and so remain biologically alive.

3) Biological death is the event that separates the living (or dying) process from the process of increasing entropy. Entropy is deterioration, degeneration, crumbling, decline, degradation, decomposition, breaking down, collapse; disorder, chaos.

4) Early on in the brain death literature it was discovered that individuals can meet the diagnostic requirements for brain death in terms of apnea, unresponsiveness, and lack of cranial nerve reflexes, yet maintain certain neurological functions. This was further proved in a study by Dr. Alan Shewmon.

Informed Consent

chairs at secretary of stateInformed consent is given when the consented has an adequate understanding of the relevant facts, and voluntarily, without coercion, consents to some procedure.

If the person is not conscious then informed consent can be given by the decision-maker. (Be careful who you choose)

There are two ways to give informed consent to remove organs for those declared “brain-dead”.

1) Once you have been pronounced “brain dead” the physician, can ask your family members and or friends.

2) When you sign up to be an organ donor at the DMV, or Secretary of State.

Unfortunately, each hospital has their own processes or protocols for determining a call of brain death. Think of your own area’s hospitals. As an example in Michigan, we have several hospitals that are Trauma 1 hospitals.

You could be pronounced brain death at U of M. by a nurse who can call it. But at St. Joes you may have to have two tests, 24 hours apart, at Beaumont you may need two physicians and a required EEG, at Detroit Receiving Hospital they may require a nuclear scan.  ( I have no idea expect for U of M just using this an example of how hospital have their own protocols.

The difference is practicality you can be pronounced dead in one hospital and not dead in another depending on their protocols.

Mike Nair-Collins, Ph.D. at The Bioethics Program at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in NYC, who is the inspiration for this post said, “consciousness, does not determine death”.

Informed consent is achieved through a conversation between patient or surrogate decision-maker and physician, where the physician explains the relevant facts to the decision-maker.

Words Matter

For the conversation to result in the successful communication of information, both the physician (the speaker) and the decision-maker (the hearer) must play their respective communicative roles appropriately. For the physician, that means that they must understand her own subject matter before they can communicate that to the hearer.

Unfortunately, many physicians do not understand the conceptual difficulties, inadequacies, and fallacious reasoning surrounding the brain death doctrine. I make this claim on the following four grounds. First, the literature upon which the brain death doctrine is based is riddled with non-sequiturs.

Discussions of critical vs. non-critical functions are irrelevant, consciousness is a red herring, as the difference between life and death is not the presence or absence of consciousness, there is confusion between diagnosis and prognosis, the creation of various homonyms distorts the issue and obscures the underlying value judgments, and there is confusion between the normative questions about organ donation with the factual questions about biological life and death.

We can hardly expect that great clarity will arise from such a confused primary literature, and it is no surprise to find a lack of  understanding about death, brain death, and the relations between them.

As a result of our acceptance of the dead donor rule, and as a result of the legal definition of ‘death’ in terms of brain death, the physician, as Miller and Truog note, must insist that brain death equals death. Thus, the physician must inform the family member that her loved one “is dead”.

But what does that mean, since there are at least six different homonyms, all of which are spelled, and sound like, ‘dead’?

In linguistics, a homonym is a word that has different meanings. In the strict sense, one of a group of words that share the same spelling and pronunciation but have different meanings. Thus homonyms are simultaneously homographs (words that share the same spelling, regardless of their pronunciation) and homophones (words that share the same pronunciation, regardless of their spelling)

New Guidelines for pronouncing death after cardiac deathI have written recently on the study of physicians who pronounce brain death.

Presumably the family member will interpret ‘dead’ in the common sense use of the word. Whatever other connotations might be involved in the word ‘dead’, some version of the biological concept, of cessation of functioning, clearly lies at the core of the common-sense concept.

On the biological concept, and hence on at least part of the commonsense concept, the brain dead patient is still biologically alive.

Therefore, the decision-maker does not have adequate understanding of the relevant facts; namely, the decision-maker is misinformed about whether the brain dead patient is biologically alive or not.

1) Physicians try to explain something that isn’t true.

2) The family member tries to understand a concept called brain death, but they may be thinking of the homonym word death and not understand that their loved one is STILL biologically alive.

3) When a doctor tells you your loved one is dead, you are NOT thinking of a legal, clinical determination but dead in the common sense, or the historical sense of the word dead.

4) This is one reason Organ Procurement agents are used the majority time because they learn scripts and dialogs and are rewarded when they meet their quotas.

Is Informed Consent Really Informed?

From a study done by Woien, S., M.Y. Rady, J.L. Verheijde, and J. McGregor, “Organ procurement organizations internet enrollment for organ donation: Abandoning informed consent,” BMC Medical Ethics 7 (2006): 14, they determined that out of the 60 OPO websites they looked at that there was NO reliable information on the organ donation process.

Our findings showed that the disclosure on OPO Web sites and in online consent forms lacked pertinent information required for informed enrollment for deceased organ donation … The Web sites predominantly provide positive reinforcement and promotional information rather than the transparent disclosure of the organ donation process.

Print this card and carry it with youPeople need to be able to make informed consent BEFORE signing to be an organ donor. They need to be able to understand that brain death is NOT the biological death of the person.

Organ harvesting from the brain dead donor kills the donor.

  • That is the fact, and if people are informed and still want to donate that is their choice…as long as they understand that brain death is not biological death.
  • Killing an individual to get their organs without informed consent is a moral violation both to the donor and their families who have to make that decision.
  • The public has been lied to, not informed and intentionally deceived by the medical community.
  • Biological science is what it is, whether we like it or not.

My friend Dr. Paul Byrne and W.F Weaver in their study “Brain death in not death said,

“Brain death” was not propagated via a medical scientific method. A committee of  experts was convened to deal with issues that could affect disposition and/or utilization of these patients. The first words of the “Report of the Ad Hoc Committee of the Harvard Medical School to Examine the Definition of Brain Death” … are as follows: “Our primary purpose is to define irreversible coma as a new criterion for death.”…

The primary purpose of the Committee was not to determine IF irreversible coma was an appropriate criterion for death but to see to it  that IT WAS established as a “new criterion for death.”

With an agenda like that at the outset, the data could be made to fit the already arrived at conclusion. It seems that there was a serious lack of scientific method in this process.

Byrne, P.A., and W.F. Weaver, “’Brain death’ is not death,” in C. Machado and D.A. Shewmon, eds., Brain death and disorders of consciousness (Springer, 2004), at 43

The entire paper by Michael Collins can be read:  Death, brain death, and the limits of science | Mike Nair-Collins – Academia.edu.

Controversies in brain death

Dr. Paul Byrne I had a great time at the brain death conference and met some really nice people, many doctors, nurses and pro-life advocates.

I’m not sure why Dr. Byrne wasn’t asked to speak as every speaker there mentioned him and all the research he has done as well as being a voice on the issue for many years.

“Brain death” (BD)1 is generally regarded as one of the few relatively settled issues of contemporary bioethics (Bernat, 1994, p. 115).

Such consensus, however, remains at the level of statutory law and clinical praxis, while the conceptual basis for equating a dead brain with a dead human individual remains as confused and controversial today as ever (Evers & Byrne, 1990; Halevy & Brody, 1993; Shewmon, 1992, 1997, 1998a, 1998b, 1999; Stapen­horst, 1996; Taylor, 1997; Tomlinson, 1990; Truog, 1997; Veatch, 1993; Youngner, 1994; Youngner et al., 1989).

The Conference

Dr. Hargroder a former transplant surgeon spoke on how he came to the decision to stop doing transplant surgery. “Something in my gut didn’t feel right as a transplant surgeon, and all the conflicting data made me question if a person was really dead.” When he first became a transplant surgeon, he said no one really questioned this new way of saving people’s lives. But as time went on he began to see that the issue was far from resolved.

He studied the human soul, and at that point knew he could no longer participate in the killing of one person to save another person.

I’ve read so much on brain death the last few years that I really felt like I wouldn’t learn anything new. But I did and will continue to look at those area’s where I heard new things. One thing I am trying to understand from a theological point of view is about St Aquinas soul which is far more than I imagined it to be.

The soul Thomas Aquinas Father Joseph Howard, from LSU also mentioned Thomas Aquinas study of the soul in his Summa Theologica, question 78.

The SOUL contain’s the body not the body containing the soul. The organs of the body are able to function because of the Rational Soul.

(This is what I am looking at and trying to get a clearer understand of) I don’t want to get too much into it because when Jamie was pronounced “brain dead” and on the ventilator all I really understood was that man was two parts, body and soul. I was thinking they were pretty much 1/2 and 1/2 and I didn’t understand the dynamic’s of an integrated human. More later… when I can explain it in lay language.

Dr. Alan Shewmon also a former transplant surgeon from UCLA,  studied extensively the  “somatic integrative unity” or “integrated function­ing of the organism as a whole” and the empirical evidence for its purported dependence on the coordinating activity of the brain.

  • “integrative unity” is either present or absent
  • it must not conflate mere disability or illness with death itself
  • consciousness is not a necessary condition for somatic integrative unity

Shewmon compiled 150 documented cases of brain-dead patients whose hearts continued to beat, and whose bodies did not disintegrate, past one week’s time. In one remarkable case, the patient survived 20 years after brain death before succumbing to cardiac arrest.

Some of integrative processes that brain-dead patients continue to exhibit include:

• Cellular wastes continue to be eliminated, detoxified, and recycled.

• Body temperature is maintained, though at a lower-than-normal temperature and with the help of blankets.

• Wounds heal.

• Infections are fought by the body.

• Infections produce fever.

• Organs and tissues continue to function.

• Brain-dead pregnant women can deliver a baby

 Brain-related criteria are flawed not only in scientific theory but also in application.

In order to fulfill the current “brain death” criteria, the entire brainstem must not be functioning. In fact and in practice, however, often only some brainstem reflexes. . . are evaluated …. Although there are other functions of the brainstem, including maintaining a normal body temperature, producing hormones via the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, neurogenic control of heart rate and maintenance of normal blood pressure, either these brain functions are not considered at all or they are said to be inapplicable or insignificant for determining death.

When a human is severely injured and in a comatose state their brain is injured. But, their other organs are still functioning. The soul is supporting those organs and there is an integrative unity of the body.

We humans and animals are both body and soul. A unified composite of matter, form, body, soul.

Jesus said to His twelve disciples in Matthew 10:28,  “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

According to Dr. Paul Byrne, one of the primary authors of Life, Life Support, and Death, the term coma, or even irreversible coma, “is a term for someone who’s alive, not someone who’s dead.” Indeed, a key objection for the acceptance of brain death is the argument that the practice confuses prognosis with diagnosis. The word “irreversible” is frequently invoked in discussions of brain death. Yet the simple fact that the patient is irreversibly comatose, and will in all likelihood be dead shortly, does not justify the conclusion that he is dead.

Father Joseph Howard said, “Whenever there is no organism as a whole, death has occurred.”

Jamie’s body and soul

As we were gathered around my son’s bed, and ALL the tubes were out, Jamie fought for 14 minutes to live.  Only when my daughter, Christa leaned over and said, “Jamie, we are all here, the people who love you most in the world. Jamie we are going to be fine, you go ahead and be with Jesus”. At that very minute he took his last breath. His soul left his body, we saw it. His body right before our very eyes changed.

As sad as I was at that moment, we could literally see the physical evidence that Jamie’s soul was gone. No one could kill his soul, Jamie is more alive today than ever before and experiencing those things that we only long to see.

A day is coming when Jamies body will rise from the grave and re-integrate with his soul and we will all live together on the New Earth.

This resurrection of the dead will come to everyone who has died before Jesus comes back, some will rise to eternal life and others to eternal damnation.

For the Christian, death is not a tragedy but a glorious promotion—not the sad end, but the glorious beginning.

For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. ~Philippians 1:21

Brain Death…Medical, Moral and Philosophical Issues

I’m so excited to be attending this conference on Saturday. It is being held in Livonia, Mi about an hour from my home.

Dr. Hargroder completed his General Surgery and Transplant Surgery training at LSU Medical Center in Shreveport, LA in 1993. Since leaving the field of Transplant Surgery in 1996 due to concerns with brain death criteria, Dr. Hargroder has focused his practice on General, Trauma, and Bariatric surgery. He currently serves as chairman of the Division of General Surgery for Mercy Medical Center in Joplin, MO.

Dr. Hargroder will be speaking on  Brain Death from the Perspective of a Former Transplant Surgeon

Fr. Joseph Howard’s research focuses on the metaphysics of the human being as related to the dignity of the human person regarding the beginning of life and end of life in clinical issues. He has served as the Principal Investigator for over ten years in research involving brain death, organ procurement, and death of the human person with colleagues in nuclear radiology, medicine, surgery, anesthesiology, bioethics, philosophy, and theology. Fr. Howard’s doctoral studies in moral theology and bioethics were done at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Fr Joseph Howard will be speaking on Total Brain Death, Spontaneous Metaphysical Operations of the Human Rational Soul and Death of the Person.

The Determination of Death and the Catholic Magisterium 

This will be taught by  Dr. Robert Fastiggi (A.B., Dartmouth; M.A., Ph.D., Fordham) is a Catholic theologian and the current President of the Mariological Society of America (2014–2016).

Objectives

Understand the philosophical, anthropological, and moral issues implicit in the declaration of brain death.

• Explore the meaning of person in this context.

• Examine the writings of St John Paul II and Benedict XVI pertinent to this discussion and distinguish the respective limits of medical science and theology.

• Understand the real world practice of organ transplant and brain death criteria.

I am so excited they are having this conference near me, I am sure as much as I have researched the last three years, I will be learning a lot.

There will be questions and answers after each speaker and I hope to be able to ask Dr. Hargroder ( if he doesn’t cover it) what it is like to have a so-called dead person twitching and jerking on the operating table during the harvest.

I am so thankful we did NOT donate Jamie’s organs. I am sure I could not have endured knowing what I know now.