Friday, January 01, 2016

Brain Death? The bad news

One of the problems of brain death is that lurking in the background are "ethicists" who think PVS patients, infants, and those with neurological deficits are being targeted for death, non treatment, or as organ donors.

These ideas have been around since at least the 1970's, but rarely get publicity, except in the case of Peter Singer (who despite saying it's okay to kill your kid and have sex with your dog hasn't been targeted by SJW for microaggression).

so this story in the LATimes doesn't make me happy.

When it comes to diagnosing brain death, policies that vary from hospital to hospital could open the door to unthinkable errors. Yet protocols designed to ensure that brain death gets diagnosed the right way every time have been adopted unevenly across the United States, new research shows.
In some cases, hospitals do not require doctors to follow protocols that would rule out conditions that mimic brain death but that can be improved with proper treatment. In other cases, hospitals adopted cumbersome procedures that delay the proper diagnosis of brain death, putting patients in need of donor organs at risk, according to a report published Monday in the journal JAMA Neurology. 
Italics mine.

Uh, can you say "conflict of interest"?
Brain death is a real diagnosis, but the Jahi case is not the only one where doctors have gotten into trouble because of pressure to make a person dead faster to give someone an organ.

hello! people are NOT entitled to get organs. This should not even be part of the conversation: That it is shows that there is a secret agenda behind the diagnosis.

My favorite? The Texan who saved his son from doctors with a gun.
And then there was the doctor who overdosed a brain damaged person to hasten his death when he didn't stop breathing. He got off.

And when the people "unexpectedly" don't stop breathing, often the patient's family is pressured to stop IV or tube feeding so that the person dies quickly, instead of pushing rehab that might leave you with a handicapped but alert person.

And, FYI: I support organ donation

I agree that a person who is properly diagnosed with brain death is dead.

But that doesn't mean I had a "donor" card, or that I support the idea that you need to "opt out" on your driver's license or they have your tacit agreement.

I remember when Arthur Caplan moved to PA years ago and applied for a driver's license: The clerk essentially told him not to check the box to donate, "or they will let you die" after an accident.

And I also remember that good old boys who totaled their cars in western PA would be airlifted to Pittsuburgh: The paramedics called these trips "body runs"....

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