Brain Death Is The Means To Harvesting Organs

May 11, 2013 — 1 Comment

Brain death is a means the harvesting organs

The concept of “brain death”, was adopted in 1968 at Harvard University by 13 men known as the Ad Hoc Committee. Since then proclaiming someone brain death become an acceptable law for pronouncing death and harvesting “vital” organs.

I use the word vital, because vital means LIFE. Your organs must be vital to be harvested. A person who has truly died their organs can NOT be harvested.

Organ donor keeper

I feel sorry for kids who walk in to get their driver’s license and sign a legal document to donate, believing they are donating after death. I feel even more sorry for the families who will have an organ donor card shoved in their face if their child is pronounced “brain dead”.

Dr. Henry Beecher, chair of the Harvard Committee, shared the Harvard’s Committee “true intent” when he stated,

“There is indeed a life-saving potential in the new definition, for, when accepted, it will lead to greater availability than formerly of essential organs in viable condition, for transplantation, and thus countless lives now inevitably lost will be saved…At whatever level we choose to call death, it is an arbitrary decision. Death of the heart? The hair still grows. Death of the brain? The heart may still beat. The need is to choose a level where the brain no longer functions. It is best to choose a level where, although the brain is dead, usefulness of other organs is still present. This we have tried to make clear in what we have called the new definition of death.” Henry K. Beecher and H. I. Dorr, “The New Definition of Death: Some Opposing Views,” International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 5 (1971):120


In 1978, President Jimmy Carter appointed a committee to study ethical problems in medicine and biomedical and behavioral research. The committee defined death as “the moment in which the body’s physiological system ceases to constitute and integrated whole.”

The Presidential Committee opted away from a person oriented view and chose instead a definition of death that says a person is not a person anymore when their brain ceases to function. They decided on a theory that the brain is the source of integration to be a person.The Presidential Committee decided the brain is the critical organ that controls all bodily systems and when the brain stops functioning the rest of the body is unable to survive.

However, that is not true.

It is wildly known that people who have lost brain function in certain area’s of the brain continue to maintain functions in other parts. One example of this is people who with the help of a ventilator use their diaphragm muscles to operate the air going into their lungs.

A ventilator can not make a person to breathe, it only aids them in breathing until they have time to heal.

A corpse can not be hooked up to ventilator and breathe.

Or in the case of Christopher Reeves, live a productive life with the help of ventilator support. Anyone think Christopher Reeves should have been killed and his organs taken?

  • Brain dead pregnant woman have delivered babies 
  • Brain dead patients can circulate blood 
  • Brain dead patients can excrete waste 
  • Brain dead patients can maintain temperature

Dr. Alan Shewmon, Professor of Professor of Pediatric Neurology at UCLA has over 175 documented case studies of people called “brain dead” surviving for long periods of time. He advocates that it is not the brain anymore than any other bodily system that makes a person a person. No one part of the body controls all the other parts of the body.

Dr. Shewmon writes in “Brain Death and Death: A Critical Re-Evaluation of the Purported Evidence, Issues in Law and Medicine 14, no 2) 1998) that:

This data on brain death teach us several lessons: (1) “Brain death” does not necessarily lead to imminent cardiac arrest despite all treatment. (2) The heterogeneity of survival duration is largely explainable by non-brain factors. Moreover, the process of brain damage leading up to “brain death” frequently induces secondary damage to heart and lungs. Therefore, the tendency to early cardiac arrest in the majority of patients is attributable more to somatic factors than to mere absence of brain activity per se. (3) The first few weeks are especially precarious. But those who make it through tend to stabilize, no longer requiring sophisticated technological support. Some have even been discharged home on a ventilator. Although some personhood-consciousness reductionist might try to argue that these are not human persons, no one can seriously claim that they are not living human organisms, living human beings.

Death and Donation: Rethinking Brain Death as a Means of Procuring Transplantable Organs by Scott Henderson Brain death is a legal fiction

In a study published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, by Seema K. Shah, Dept of Bioethics,National Institute of Health and Robert Troug, Harvard University division of Medical Ethics, and Robert Miller, Dept of Bioethics, National Institute of Health wrote:

Advances in life-saving technologies in the past few decades have challenged our traditional understandings of death. Traditionally, death was understood to occur when a person stops breathing, their heart stops beating and they are cold to the touch. Today, physicians determine death by relying on a diagnosis of ‘total brain failure’ or by waiting a short while after circulation stops. 

Evidence has emerged, however, that the conceptual basis for these approaches to determining death are fundamentally flawed and depart substantially from the established biological conception of death. We argue that the current approach to determining death consists of two different types of unacknowledged legal fictions. 

These legal fictions were developed for practices that are largely ethically legitimate but need to be reconciled with the law. The considerable debate over the definition of death in the medical and scientific literature has not informed the public that vital organs are being procured from still-living donors and it seems unlikely that this information can remain hidden for long.  Bolded my me. 

It is morally wrong to kill one person to save the life of another person. Every person who donates their organs is a living person.

This legal fiction must be exposed, the truth must come out.  Will you please join me in exposing the deception of brain death by sending your friends and family here?

Flickr Photo Credit, creative commons license. 

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