Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Potential organ donor was wrongly declared brain-dead
LA Times ^ | 12 April 2007 | Charles Ornstein and Tracy Weber

Posted on 04/12/2007 6:27:57 AM PDT by shrinkermd

A man whose family agreed to donate his organs for transplant upon his death was wrongly declared brain-dead by two doctors at a Fresno hospital, records and interviews show.

Only after the man's 26-year-old daughter and a nurse became suspicious was a third doctor, a neurosurgeon, brought in. He determined that John Foster, 47, was not brain-dead, a condition that would have cleared the way for his organs to be removed, records of the Feb. 21 incident show.

"It kind of blew my mind," said the daughter, Melanie Sanchez, "like they were waiting like vultures, waiting for someone to die so they could scoop them up."

Foster, who had suffered a brain hemorrhage, died 11 days later at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno. By then, Sanchez said, his organs were not viable for donation.

The apparent close call is the second in recent months to raise questions about whether, amid a national organ shortage, doctors might be compromising the care of prospective donors. Law enforcement authorities in San Luis Obispo County are investigating whether a transplant surgeon tried to hasten the death of a 26-year-old patient last year by ordering high volumes of pain medication.

(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Front Page News
KEYWORDS: brain; cultureofdeath; death; geneticcanibalism; ghouls; organdonor; socializedmedicine
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-81 next last
Time to reinstate the Hippocratic Oath.
1 posted on 04/12/2007 6:27:59 AM PDT by shrinkermd
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: shrinkermd

He’s Truly and Sincerely dead............


2 posted on 04/12/2007 6:30:46 AM PDT by Red Badger (If it's consensus, it's not science. If it's science, there's no need for consensus......)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: shrinkermd

I bet this happens more than you would think. I wonder Doctors in ERs earn commissions on organs obtained?


3 posted on 04/12/2007 6:32:07 AM PDT by DogBarkTree (The correct word isnt "immigrant" when what they are doing is "invading".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: shrinkermd

They are hurrying the process up. Why take the time to starve someone to death when you can just call them brain dead and get the goodies quicker?

What a sick society we have become!


4 posted on 04/12/2007 6:32:39 AM PDT by Homeschool Christian Mom of 5
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Homeschool Christian Mom of 5

There are some who want to see everyone’s organs ‘in the pool’ and see to it that you would have to opt out of the program.

When the State takes over health care, your best interest will NOT be the best interest of the State. And with them paying the bills, they make all the rules.


5 posted on 04/12/2007 6:35:08 AM PDT by weegee (I'm waiting to exhale. The Supreme Court has ruled that CO2 is pollution.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: weegee

This is why I DO NOT check the organ donation box when I renew my driver’s license.


6 posted on 04/12/2007 6:37:23 AM PDT by joeystoy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: joeystoy

I’m not a checkbox organ donor either. I’ve never trusted the system and to much God playing.

My wife has orders to give them my organs when she is satisfied I’m brain dead.


7 posted on 04/12/2007 6:39:24 AM PDT by rbmillerjr ("Message to radical jihadis...come to my hood, it's understood ------ it's open season" Stuck Mojo)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: shrinkermd

Tis Only A Flesh Wound.

No You're Brain Dead.
So Lay Down - We Want Your Organs!


8 posted on 04/12/2007 6:41:05 AM PDT by Condor51 (Rudy makes John Kerry look like a Right Wing 'Gun Nut' Extremist)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

He’s feeling better actually... he thinks he’ll go for a walk..


9 posted on 04/12/2007 6:44:00 AM PDT by HamiltonJay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: DogBarkTree

“I wonder Doctors in ERs earn commissions on organs obtained?”

No. No physician in the US earns a commission for anything like this. It would be a felony, rightfully so.


10 posted on 04/12/2007 6:44:14 AM PDT by pieceofthepuzzle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: DogBarkTree
I bet this happens more than you would think. I wonder Doctors in ERs earn commissions on organs obtained?

No and no. However, organs are "harvested" routinely from patients who are openly acknowledged not to be brain dead. The process is called "non beating heart procurement." In this situation, patients who are severely injured, but not brain dead, are taken with the consent of the family to the OR. The ventilator is turned off with procurement surgeons standing by. When the patient is pronounced dead, the organs are harvested.

I am not making this up. It is "legal" and it happens all the time. I have seen it. In fact, I have been pressured to participate.

11 posted on 04/12/2007 6:44:31 AM PDT by outofstyle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: rbmillerjr
That sounds like a good plan.

It's sad that by the time the guy was dead, his organs were not usable. But we can't kill people for their organs, which is what declaring someone dead when they are not amounts to.
12 posted on 04/12/2007 6:45:22 AM PDT by Iwo Jima ("Close the border. Then we'll talk.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: shrinkermd

“Time to reinstate the Hippocratic Oath....”

This died with the advent of the AMA and the FDA - both have become evil tools of the Drug Cartels. This is not to say that individuals, doctors, nurses etc in the medical community are evil or corrupt - many truly care about the patients they treat, and are in the business to help people be well. I do not believe that the Drug Cartel, the AMA or the FDA care about any of us or our health - they are after the money to be milked through the system into their gruby, greedy, dirty hands and pockets.


13 posted on 04/12/2007 6:46:36 AM PDT by GGpaX4DumpedTea
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: shrinkermd; outofstyle

Interesting. Thanks for posting.


14 posted on 04/12/2007 6:48:08 AM PDT by PGalt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: rbmillerjr

Same situation we have here. My husband and I both believe in organ donation and want to donate our organs, but ONLY when the other has determined that the patient is truly brain dead.


15 posted on 04/12/2007 6:48:46 AM PDT by Texas_shutterbug
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: DogBarkTree
I doubt doctors do these things intentionally, but my doctor friends have told be point blank: “Never pre-declare your willingness to be a organ donor!” If you wish to do so, advise your next-of-kin, but putting it on file in the medical system will ensure that if your life cannot be easily saved, it won’t be. That’s just human nature; letting you die “at least helps someone else.”
16 posted on 04/12/2007 6:49:40 AM PDT by ROLF of the HILL COUNTRY ( ISLAMA DELENDA EST!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: GGpaX4DumpedTea
Neither the AMA or the FDA had much to say about the abandonment of the Hippocratic Oath. The demise occurred after 1973 and Roe vs. Wade; prior to this SCOTUS decision medical schools had the oath as part of the graduation ceremony.

After this, the medical schools changed the oath more and more until now, in many schools, it has scant resemblance to the original Hippocratic Oath.

17 posted on 04/12/2007 6:51:57 AM PDT by shrinkermd
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: outofstyle

Kinda like abortion .... teach women they have a “right to choose” to kill their babies in utero so they aren’t inconvenienced, then “science” can use the dead babies for research in stem cells. It’s all the same in my view.


18 posted on 04/12/2007 6:52:41 AM PDT by redlocks322
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: joeystoy

Me neither.

I refuse to do so not only because I might not be “truly and sincerely” dead but because everyone makes big bucks off this process except the donor and his estate. Thats one reason they were standing around like vultures.
Do I want to be an organ donor? Not until the medico’s do a little donating...like they USED to do when organ donation first started.
[Yeah I know...the “cost of harvesting...” How much does a cooler and a bag of ice cost?]


19 posted on 04/12/2007 6:52:43 AM PDT by Adder (Can we bring back stoning again? Please?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Condor51
An even more appropriate Monty Python skit.

MAN: Hello. Uhh, can we have your liver?

MR. BROWN: My what?

MAN: Your liver. It's a large, ehh, glandular organ in your abdomen.

ERIC: [sniff]

MAN: You know, it's, uh,-- it's reddish-brown. It's sort of, uhh,--

MR. BROWN: Yeah,-- y-- y-- yeah, I know what it is, but... I'm using it, eh.

ERIC: Come on, sir.

MR. BROWN: Hey! Hey! Stop!

ERIC: Don't muck us about.

MR. BROWN: Stop! Hey! Hey! Stop it. Hey!

MAN: Hallo.

MR. BROWN: Ge-- get off.

MAN: What's this, then? Mmh.

MR. BROWN: A liver donor's card.

MAN: Need we say more?

ERIC: No!

MR. BROWN: Listen! I can't give it to you now. It says, 'in the event of death'. Uh. Oh! Ah. Ah. Eh.

MAN: No one who has ever had their liver taken out by us has survived.

20 posted on 04/12/2007 6:55:15 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (Parker v. DC: the best court decision of the year.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: joeystoy

This is why I DO NOT check the organ donation box when I renew my driver’s license.

Me, too!!


21 posted on 04/12/2007 7:09:57 AM PDT by Polyxene (For where God built a church, there the Devil would also build a chapel - Martin Luther)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: shrinkermd
Foster, who had suffered a brain hemorrhage, died 11 days later at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno. By then, Sanchez said, his organs were not viable for donation.

I'm glad they saved him! [smirk]

Methinks there is a bit of confusion regarding terminal and brain dead. Brain dead is a distinct medical condition, but there are numerous other variables that can lead to a terminal prognosis for organ transplant reasons.

They tried and failed to convince the family that he was hours, days from death with no possibility of recovery, and the tighty righties are now seizing the moment to create another Shiavo for their hyperbolic BS.

Carry on! My analysis is complete.

22 posted on 04/12/2007 7:11:01 AM PDT by Cold Heat (Mitt....2008)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Texas_shutterbug
My husband and I both believe in organ donation and want to donate our organs, but ONLY when the other has determined that the patient is truly brain dead.

Using that criteria, your chances of even donating are practically nil. very few terminal patients ever achieve "brain death". What initiates transplant, is the medical fact that the patient is terminal, not brain dead.

23 posted on 04/12/2007 7:15:15 AM PDT by Cold Heat (Mitt....2008)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: shrinkermd

YES, Doctors, hospitals, et al DO compromise care in order to harvest the high profit organs.

They decide, “patient will die anyways” so presto you are dead.

consider the slur of “donor cycle” for motorcycle accidents. They have a predisposition to sacrifice care in order to harvest organs right off the bat.


24 posted on 04/12/2007 7:20:56 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: shrinkermd

What should we expect from a society that kills unborn babies for their stem cells.


25 posted on 04/12/2007 7:21:35 AM PDT by sportutegrl (This thread is useless without pix.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: joeystoy

Me either.


26 posted on 04/12/2007 7:25:41 AM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: DogBarkTree

THIS part made me cringe-

After Sanchez agreed to donate, she said, she got calls “at least twice a day” from the organ group, saying: “We have to get the body parts in a certain time. Your dad can be a life-saver to someone else. How is he doing today? Did he go up or down?”


27 posted on 04/12/2007 7:31:26 AM PDT by Muzzle_em (A proud warrior of the Pajamahadeen)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: rbmillerjr

YIKES!

I currently have the box checked on my DL, but the next time it is up for renewal, the box will not be checked.

I’m wondering though-
there IS ALWAYS an agenda behind every story published by the MSM. What do you suppose is their agenda in this story?


28 posted on 04/12/2007 7:33:42 AM PDT by Muzzle_em (A proud warrior of the Pajamahadeen)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Iwo Jima

I don’t understand why his organs were not usable by the time he died. This tells me they were only usable while he was alive....

Hmmm.


29 posted on 04/12/2007 7:35:19 AM PDT by Muzzle_em (A proud warrior of the Pajamahadeen)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Adder

Is the recipient charged for the organ?

If it is truly organ donation and saving a life and all that jazz, the doctors should be willing to do it for little or nothing, IMO, at least the organ removal part of it.


30 posted on 04/12/2007 7:39:09 AM PDT by Muzzle_em (A proud warrior of the Pajamahadeen)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Cold Heat

So, are they harvesting organs before the patient is really dead? If so, this is speeding up the death, isn’t it?
Isn’t that euthanasia?


31 posted on 04/12/2007 7:41:42 AM PDT by Muzzle_em (A proud warrior of the Pajamahadeen)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Cold Heat
Carry on! My analysis is complete.

Your analysis is not quite complete. There is a great deal of abuse potential with the current system. For example, a wealthy patient who is severely injured, but not really "hours away from death" becomes a candidate for organ harvesting. A couple of corrupt doctors working with the family who will inherit the estate could easily facilitate a murder.

As an anesthesiologist, I have been asked to be the one to pull the plug in the OR and pronounce the patient dead prior to harvesting. In these situations, the OR team knows nothing about the will of the patient or the character of the family.

32 posted on 04/12/2007 7:47:19 AM PDT by outofstyle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: shrinkermd

This is why the donor box on my drivers license is unchecked !


33 posted on 04/12/2007 7:48:39 AM PDT by 1066AD
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Muzzle_em
So, are they harvesting organs before the patient is really dead?

Yes. See post # 11.

34 posted on 04/12/2007 7:49:36 AM PDT by outofstyle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: weegee
When the State takes over health care, your best interest will NOT be the best interest of the State. And with them paying the bills, they make all the rules.

Exactly.

35 posted on 04/12/2007 7:52:57 AM PDT by syriacus (Congress should debrief Pelosi as they would any US diplomat who met with a foreign leader.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Muzzle_em
doctors should be willing to do it for little or nothing, IMO, at least the organ removal part of it.

Not a chance. This is big business and the surgeons are only a small part of it. The organizations that coordinate the procurement of organs are large bureaucracies.

36 posted on 04/12/2007 7:57:11 AM PDT by outofstyle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Cold Heat
tighty righties are now seizing the moment to create another Shiavo for their hyperbolic BS.

I guess you didn't read the entire article.

37 posted on 04/12/2007 8:00:16 AM PDT by syriacus (Congress should debrief Pelosi as they would any US diplomat who met with a foreign leader.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Cold Heat
Carry on! My analysis is complete.

Yep. In your world, doctors may harvest organs from people who will die someday anyway.

Not the criteria I would use.

38 posted on 04/12/2007 8:18:56 AM PDT by BigBobber
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: HamiltonJay

I don’t want to go on the cart.....


39 posted on 04/12/2007 8:23:40 AM PDT by joe fonebone (Nothin' from Nothin' leaves Nothin')
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Muzzle_em
If so, this is speeding up the death, isn’t it? Isn’t that euthanasia?

Not as I see it. I think to call it Euthanasia, is not rational. Euthanasia infers the killing of living thing that was compromised medically or would have lived without intervention at the very least.

Hastening a impending death by not intervening medically could be considered killing by some, but certainly not murder by law.

In my opinion, if the death of a person is certain, hastening that death by a few days to protect the viability of needed organs that will add many years to the quality of life for multiple people is a rational thing to contemplate, assuming the person making the donation has agreed upon the terms in advance of his/her demise.

This is the root rationality of the donor system, and in this particular case, the family was not able to comply with the donors wishes and now is trying to shift the responsibility to the hospital and doctor. The fact that the family was not able to comply, happen all the time, but to try to shift the responsibility to the doctor, seems quite petty and egregious to me.

This is not rational. It is hypocrisy and emotional laden clap-trap.

40 posted on 04/12/2007 8:23:40 AM PDT by Cold Heat (Mitt....2008)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: DogBarkTree
I saw this same thing happen with a 17 year old boy. The family was told he was brain dead and asked for the organs. The family refused. He later walked out of the care facility where I worked. This was in the 70’s. It is the reason I won’t sign a doner card.
41 posted on 04/12/2007 8:28:22 AM PDT by w1andsodidwe (Jimmy Carter allowed radical Islam to get a foothold in Iran.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: BigBobber
Yep. In your world, doctors may harvest organs from people who will die someday anyway.

My comment was made in the context of a "Impending Death", and that would mean hours/or days. Not weeks, months or years.

But you knew that. Your point is not valid.

42 posted on 04/12/2007 8:29:52 AM PDT by Cold Heat (Mitt....2008)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: outofstyle
As an anesthesiologist, I have been asked to be the one to pull the plug in the OR and pronounce the patient dead prior to harvesting. In these situations, the OR team knows nothing about the will of the patient or the character of the family.

I would view that as a serious ethical violation. If what you say is true, then the hospital is negligent regarding it's protocols or lack thereof, or the protocols are not being enforced.

You would have a valid grievance in my humble opinion.

43 posted on 04/12/2007 8:34:05 AM PDT by Cold Heat (Mitt....2008)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Cold Heat
My comment was made in the context of a "Impending Death", and that would mean hours/or days.

How many hours?

44 posted on 04/12/2007 8:35:35 AM PDT by syriacus (Congress should debrief Pelosi as they would any US diplomat who met with a foreign leader.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: Cold Heat
In my opinion, if the death of a person is certain, hastening that death by a few days to protect the viability of needed organs that will add many years to the quality of life for multiple people is a rational thing to contemplate...

It is rational to contemplate. However, on balance, I go with the "slippery slope" position. Using the strict brain death criteria has far less abuse potential. True brain death is not as rare as you suggested in an earlier post.

Practically speaking, the greater good you speak of is being diluted. Many of these organs are being transplanted into patients who, themselves, are "terminal." There is too much money changing hands with the current system.

45 posted on 04/12/2007 8:38:24 AM PDT by outofstyle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: Cold Heat
I would view that as a serious ethical violation. If what you say is true, then the hospital is negligent regarding it's protocols or lack thereof, or the protocols are not being enforced.

One would think so. However, there is at least one "position statement" by a respected medical organization that endorses this process. If I can locate it in the next few days, I will provide a reference. Either way, this is being done now in many hospitals.

46 posted on 04/12/2007 8:45:53 AM PDT by outofstyle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: DogBarkTree

NO THEY DONT AND THATS AN IGNORANT REMARK!


47 posted on 04/12/2007 8:49:55 AM PDT by pitinkie (revenge will be sweet)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: outofstyle
You could be right, because I am not familiar with the current "brain-death" protocols, but it would seem to me that true brain death would only occur in closed head injuries, and leave out the vast majority of terminal patients who have opted to donate yet are none the less dying for sure within days or hours....

Just my layman's opinion....

48 posted on 04/12/2007 8:50:39 AM PDT by Cold Heat (Mitt....2008)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: Cold Heat
it would seem to me that true brain death would only occur in closed head injuries, and leave out the vast majority of terminal patients who have opted to donate yet are none the less dying for sure within days or hours....

Yes this is correct. However, even now, patients not meeting the brain death criteria who are "donating" are mostly head injured patients. Patients with "terminal" conditions resulting from the failure of other organ systems rarely have organs that are suitable for transplantation.

49 posted on 04/12/2007 8:56:35 AM PDT by outofstyle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 48 | View Replies]

To: outofstyle
I see....

So the difficulty lies mostly within the area of stoke patients who have suffered a great deal of damage to their autonomic nervous systems, yet do not meet the criteria of brain death.

I don't know how many patients this would add up to, but it would be smaller than I had thought.

Would that be a vague but correct assumption? The experiences that I personally have gone through in this area were connected mostly to cancer patients who died from the Chemo and their organs were shot as a result.

If we are only talking about a very small number of people, then your idea of a strict protocol seems quite reasonable under the circumstances.

50 posted on 04/12/2007 9:09:51 AM PDT by Cold Heat (Mitt....2008)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-81 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson