Apr 14

Are you an organ donor?

After you read this, you will change your mind.

It is a standard question when getting a driver's license: Do you wish to be an organ donor? I'm sure many of you have answered yes, thinking that this is an honorable and responsible practice. I don't blame you. I used to think so also. After all, if I am dead, what do I need my organs for anymore?

This presumes, of course, that I am actually dead. There's the rub. This will probably shock you, but if so, you need to be shocked: There is no such thing as a dead organ donor. By definition, if you are donating organs, then you are not dead. You are alive. I am not playing word games. I mean that literally. Your heart is still beating. Your have blood pressure. You are on a respirator, yes, but you are very much alive. If you were not alive, then your organs would deteriorate so quickly, that they could not possible he harvested. Your organs are, quite literally, cut out of your body while you are still breathing, and your heart is still beating.

Sound gruesome? It gets worse. Before your organs are harvested, you are given a paralyzing drug to guarantee that you will not be able to move, or to breath on your own thereafter. Why? Because if they don't you will likely go into convulsions, and that makes for a very messy surgery. But even though they paralyze you, they do not anesthetize you. That's right. you can still feel pain. And what is more, as they are cutting into your very much alive body, your heart-beat spikes, and your blood pressure sky-rockets. That's what happens when you start cutting on a body that can feel pain.

How is any of this legal? It all goes back to an ivory tower decision made by a bunch of men playing God at Harvard, in 1968. The "Harvard Criteria" determines how one is determined to be brain dead. One of the chief criteria is called apnea. Simply put, they take you off a respirator for two minutes. If your heart rate drops by a certain amount, then you are declared brain dead. They then put you back on the respirator so that your supply of oxygen is restored. That way you won't die before they can kill you.

Now, of course, if you cut off the supply of oxygen to the brain of a very traumatized body for two minutes, that by itself can cause brain damage. Thus, the "brain death" test itself can cause brain death.

Decades later, we know vastly more about about what should constitute "brain death". Unfortunately, if the Harvard Criteria were changed, it would mean a dramatic drop in the number of live organs on the market. Thus, there is great pressure to maintain a standard that everyone knows is deeply flawed, and in fact, is leading to the abhorrent practice of butchering people alive.

This rabbit hole goes much deeper. Consider how the traumatized members of your family, approached by an organ donation counselor, will manipulate you into signing forms, by telling them how noble it is that you want to give life to others. But they neglect to mention that you are still alive, and in fact, even now, instead of trying to save your life, they are mentally dividing you up like a butcher shop, and looking for transplant recipients.

Deeper still one finds the profit motive behind the organ donation scam. Once upon a time there were laws that prevented a dead body from every being considered "property" and treated like a commodity. By law, a dead body could have no commercial value. Of course, neither could a living body, because that would be slavery. Human beings are not an economic commodity to be bought and sold, whether alive or dead.

The transplant business turns this on its head. Organ donation is big business. Your body becomes a commodity, leading to big profits to the physicians and hospitals involved in the transplant process. And while it is still illegal to sell the organs themselves, the organizations that facilitate the process charge hefty "processing fees". Kind of like when you get a free DVD, for only $9.95 shipping and handling.

The only moral organ transplants are those where the donor is able to give consent to the procedure, and remains alive after the procedure is complete. Namely, what is called "living donor" transplants such as kidney and partial liver transplants. As to all the rest, I cannot but conclude that they are nothing but legal euthanasia, and should be opposed by anyone who identifies themselves as pro-life.

Here are a series of references for further research. Note especially the articles on the New England Journal of Medicine, and Medscape.

Medscape article (Requires free registration)

The New England Journal of Medicine

One family's story

Dr. Paul Byrne, a Christian doctor trying to raise public awareness of this issue.

The profit motive

Not dead yet. One young man who escaped the butchery after they had already declared him brain dead.

Life Guarding Foundation, an organization founded by Bernice Jones, publicizing the fraud of "brain death".


I'm a Lutheran pastor, a CTO, a father, amateur photographer, programmer, Irish music fan, and all around geek, but I only have one blog. So, you will find here a mix of theology, photography, geek speak, family news, and whatever else strikes my fancy. If you get confused, there are now categories…




Recent Posts