Skip to comments.One in five ‘brain dead’ patients still alive, claims lawsuit
Posted on 10/02/2012 6:41:02 AM PDT by NYer
NEW YORK, October 1, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) At least one in five patients declared brain dead and approved as organ donors by one organ donation organisation, are in fact still alive and are being killed by the removal of vital organs, a lawsuit filed last week in Manhattan alleges. The suit outlines the ghoulish worst-case scenario, one that was widely dismissed as scaremongering in the early days of the development of organ transplant technology, but which is getting a second hearing amidst growing concerns that coercion and abuse are becoming increasingly common in the highly lucrative transplant business.
Patrick McMahon, a nurse practitioner and Air Force combat veteran, launched the suit in New York alleging that a major organ donation group is using a quota system for obtaining viable organs. He says it is applying pressure on families and doctors to declare patients dead who are, in fact, still alive and could recover.
The New York Organ Donor Network, McMahon says, even hires coaches to help obtain consent notes. These coaches, the suit contends, are nothing more than sales and marketing experts who teach transplant coordinators to use high-pressure psychological tactics to play on the emotions of vulnerable family members. The suit alleges that employees who failed to make their quotas were fired.
Youre not there for grief counselling, he told the Daily Mail, youre there to get organs. Its all about sales—and thats pretty much a direct quote from the organisation. Counsellors are required to get a 30 per cent consent rate from families. The top counsellors get a Christmas bonus, he added.
McMahons suit cites one case in which a 19-year-old car crash victim was struggling to breathe and showing signs of brain activity, but doctors signed off on the donation. The suit alleges that Network director, Michael Goldstein, bullied staff at the Nassau University Medical Center. It quotes him telling a conference call, This kid is dead, you got that?
I have been in Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan in combat. I worked on massive brain injuries, trauma, gunshot wounds, IEDs. I have seen worse cases than this and the victims recover, McMahon told the Washington Post.
McMahon was an employee of the Organ Donor Network, but was fired shortly after bringing his concerns to the attention of the CEO. The suit was filed on September 25 in Manhattan Supreme Court and says that on November 4 last year, McMahon spoke with Helen Irving, the president and CEO of the Organ Donor Network. He told her that, one in five patients declared brain dead show signs of brain activity when the official notice of brain death is issued.
The suit quotes Irving replying, This is how things are done.
The Washington Post quoted Organ Donor Networks spokesman Julia Rivera saying that though she had not seen the documents, claims of a quota system are ridiculous. There are no quotas.
McMahons suit accuses the Network of wrongful and illegal practices. McMahon was fired from his position as a transplant coordinator on November 15th, just days after his alleged conversation with Helen Irving. The stated reason, he was told by the Network, was failure to properly satisfy job requirements and inefficiency, accusations he calls ridiculous and totally false.
Its atrocious what’s going on, McMahon told Staten Island Live. These individuals that arent brain dead cant speak for themselves. The family members arent experts. Im trying to stop [the network] from doing this, he said.
The suit alleges that in another case a man admitted to Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn was also showing signs of brain activity, but though McMahon protested, the man was declared brain dead and his organs were removed. In a third case cited, a woman was declared brain dead after being admitted to Staten Island University Hospital for a drug overdose. McMahon says when she was having her organs removed, he noticed she was being administered a paralyzing anesthetic drug to stop her body from jerking on the operating table.
He told the Daily Mail, She was having brain function when they were cutting into her on the table. He had given her a paralyser and theres no reason to give someone who is dead a paralyser.
On being confronted, the hospital staffer administering the drug told McMahon that he had been told to do it because she was moving as her chest was being cut open. A paralyser only paralyses you, it does nothing for the pain, McMahon told the Mail.
In that case, McMahon said, surgeons took everything. They took her eyes, her joints. She was right there when I was having the conversation. They were inserting the plastic bones where the real ones had been.
In response to McMahons protests, Network staff told the hospital he was an untrained troublemaker with a history of raising frivolous issues and questions.
Despite these facts, over [McMahons] vehement objections, NYODN continued to process the female patient and allowed the life-ending surgery to go forward, the court documents say. NYODNs actions are the direct cause for the female patients premature death.
Ethicists continue to warn that money, not altruism, is the driving force behind organ transplants that have become a multi-billion dollar, global industry. In 2008, after the Vaticans own Pontifical Academy for Life co-sponsored a high-profile international conference on organ transplantation, many in the pro-life community protested that no mention was made by any speaker of the ethical concerns over coercion or death criteria.
But after the vociferous international outcry, Pope Benedict XVI himself issued a stern warning in his address to the conference attendees, saying that the primary concern must be that organ transplantation does not devolve into a choice of one life over another. Informed consent is the precondition of freedom, so that the transplant has the characteristic of a gift and cannot be interpreted as an act of coercion or exploitation, the pope said. The medical community must reject the illicit trade in organs which often affect innocent people such as children and the utilitarian criteria for donation. These must be, he said, strongly condemned as abominable.
In 2008, the New England Journal of Medicine printed an article that frankly argued that brain death is a sham. The article, co-authored by Dr. Robert D. Truog, a professor of medical ethics and anesthesia (pediatrics) in the Departments of Anesthesia and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, said the scientific literature does not support the criteria for brain death and cardiac death as being real death. Although it may be ethical to remove vital organs from these patients, we believe that the reason it is ethical cannot convincingly be that the donors are dead, the article said.
So open has the brain death secret become in medical circles that some are urging that such criteria simply be dropped. Dr. Neil Lazar, director of the medical-surgical intensive care unit at Toronto General Hospital, Dr. Maxwell J. Smith of the University of Toronto, and David Rodriguez-Arias of Universidad del Pais Vasco in Spain, admitted at a major conference that the pretense should be ended and that organs should be allowed to be removed from dying or severely injured patients. This more honest approach, they said, would avoid the problems created by purely ideological definitions of death that are known to be mere pretexts to expand the organ donor pool.
AKA Democratic voters.
“brain dead” ... otherwise known as “0bama voters.”
One in five brain dead patients still alive,
Yeah, I'd believe that...........
Argument against carrying a organ donor card?
I have stated to all my loved ones that I will NOT be a donor. I know people who used to be involved in the process, and they confirm what the article says.
And if I need an organ that requires the death of the donor, I will not consent to it.
After seeing this article,I guess my worries were confirmed if only because there are unethical people in every field so why not in medicine?
We call them "Liberals."
Money trumps everything in a materialist nihilistic society. Respect for human life means nothing any more.
They put off that they are caring and your loved one will help someone else. Then as soon as the paper is signed it is hurry hurry hurry, you can say goodbye at the funeral home. Many people have related this to me.
As a professional I have had to put together the jigsaw puzzle that the “recovery team” sends the funeral home. Very little or no respect was paid to the deceased. I have known people that have worked for the recovery team and although the word “quota” can not be found anywhere they are implied. There also have been allegations of kick backs to attending physicians.
I will never ever carry an organ donor card. My family has been told to keep these vultures away from me if the ocassion ever arises. They make my skin, which they also want, crawl.
Carved up like a turkey wile they are still alive and can feel pain. Wow. Isn’t 21st century civilization wonderful?
And, of course, for some in here this article is nothing but a source of political jokes.
There's a whole group of them known as 'abortion providers'. 'Organ harvester' would actually be a step UP from that. I guess that's where abortionists move to when they have trouble sleeping at night.
The dirty little secret is that if a vital organ is still living then the person is still living. The ability to think or feel pain is irrelevant. If the person is truly dead then all of his organs have died also. Vital organs cannot be removed without committing murder. This may be harsh to those who need these organs but we cannot treat persons as merely objects to be used for our own benefit.
I don’t understand this issue. If a person is brain dead (no activity on monitors) and if life support mechanisms are withdrawn and the person would die, what is the problem? Loved ones make the decision to pull the plug every day. Can’t organs be harvested with minutes when the heart stops beating. I really don’t know.
Freepmail wagglebee to subscribe or unsubscribe from the moral absolutes ping list.
Women, give your parts to liberals. Not!
Yes, it is the reason no one in my family is an automatic “donor”! That decision is up to the moral, living and loving to decide and not the amoral death factory that is humanism.
"Brain dead" ≠ dead. There does come a time when it is right to remove artificial life support which will lead to the natural death of the person. This can be right and just. But when harvesting vital organs they do not wait for actual death because if they did the organs would be dead also. Nor do they even remove life support before removing the organs. They want fresh organs so they just declare a person dead based on brain function and remove the organs.
The uncomfortable truth is that as long as there is metabolism in the body it is alive. This is what separates a living body from a corpse. But this definition would not allow the removal of functioning vital organs so they had to come up with the definition of "brain dead."