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Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Part II

I've blogged about the alarming nature of organ donation many times. But if this, this, this, this, or this hasn't sufficiently alarmed you, here's more: (HT Secondhand Smoke)

Some of you may recall from some of my other posts linked above the so-called "Pittsburgh Protocol," also known as non-heart-beating donation, in which organs are harvested quite quickly after a patient's heart has stopped beating, during a time period when the patient might plausibly be able to be revived. Of course, if he's been designated as a donor, he isn't revived. His organs are harvested instead. In one hospital infants' hearts were harvested when the babies had ceased to breathe or to have spontaneous heartbeat for only seventy-five seconds, but the usual protocol is that harvesters must wait at least two minutes. It used to be five.

New proposals by the relevant regulatory agency would completely remove all protocols for waiting after the cessation of patient heartbeat. In other words, harvesters could begin to remove organs instantly after any minuscule time period of cessation of heartbeat and breathing (as if two minutes were not minuscule enough) and after a magical declaration of death. This, obviously, means that revivable patients will have their organs harvested. (In fact, as we saw in a previous entry, the re-attachment of machines for the sake of keeping organs oxygenated sometimes already results in the revival of the patient, who must be drugged to prevent this. Really.)

Is that disturbing enough? There's more: Under the new protocols, the evaluation of the patient as a potential organ donor can be made continuously, even before the family has decided to withdraw all life support. Let me repeat this another way: The independence of the decision to withdraw life support from the decision to donate organs is removed from the protocols. This means that families can be pressured at any time, even early on, to agree to donate the organs of a relative and also that the decision to donate will be able to influence decisions about further treatment and care.

An added interesting point: The new protocols specifically draw attention to people with upper spinal cord injury or end-stage musculoskeletal or pulmonary disease as patients who may be "suitable candidates" for non-heart-beating donation. But of course we're not targeting anyone! Not in the slightest.

You might want to reconsider that organ donor indication on your driver's license, now...

That's in America. In world news, Belgium is aggressively pursuing the coordination of organ donation with assisted suicide.

Comments (7)

I think I am going to be sick. Oh, wait, that's become a really bad idea now. Never mind!!! I'm fine, really, just a wee case of heart slowing down. A little. Well, a lot. But it's just slow, really, not...you know, not STOPPED or anything. I'M NOT DEAD YET!

Changed my license last month.

If they're proposing this, what are they actually doing?

Good point, Foxfier. I was just re-reading one of the professional articles linked from one of my old posts (don't have time to get the link here). It said outright that some hospitals *already at that time* allowed procurement personnel to be watching and evaluating patients before familial consent had been obtained and without the family's knowledge. Not apparently that they were actually _doing_ anything to the patients, just evaluating them. But that wasn't supposed to be happening then. It was, AFAIK, against existing protocols. It's being "proposed" now as a "new" protocol. Just goes to show that they're always pushing the envelope.

I know Mr. Smith has covered at least one case where the team that decided the patient was dead was the "organ procurement" team. Only came to light because there was some other hitch involved.

I think you're talking about the case in Washington State where the procurement doctor (who shouldn't even have been in the room) was actually charged with something like "abuse of a disabled person" for trying to kill the patient by ordering gigantic doses of morphine when he just...wouldn't...die. He was acquitted, even though the nurses seem to have been good witnesses of what was being done.

It said outright that some hospitals *already at that time* allowed procurement personnel to be watching and evaluating patients before familial consent had been obtained and without the family's knowledge.

So much for the ethical training of nurses. Pretty soon, there will be no Christian nurses left in secular hospitals because no one with a living conscience will be able to work there.

I really wonder, if there are any doctors/nurses reading, in your training, do they tell you to check-in your moral sensibilities at the door of the hospital? If so, then one wonders how hospitals can justify humor therapy by deny the Source of joy.

The Chicken

Should read:

If so, then one wonders how hospitals can justify things like humor therapy while denying the Source of joy.

The Chicken

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