Re: “Brain Death” as Criteria for Organ Donation is a “Deception”: Bereaved Mother

My brother was involved in a motorcycle accident in October of 1991… When at the hospital, he was operated on for 13 hours, after which the doctors said there was major inflammation of his brain and that we had to wait to see if he would recover. The next morning the doctors proclaimed him brain dead, so they asked if we would consider his organs for transplant donations. We consulted with a priest and he suggested it would be a good thing to do. We got back to the doctors and said they could retrieve his organs. 

By this time my brother had already received the Anointing Of The Sick two times and with much sorrow my parents allowed for the removal of his organs, but not before each member of my family, (10 brothers and sisters in all), said goodbye to him, the last of which were my parents who stood by his side hours on end. Before we all left the hospital, my parents, the holy people they are, stood by my brother ABRAHAM’S (ABRAMO in Italian) bedside offering up his soul to God, imploring His Grace and Mercy while praying the rosary with arms outstretched. At this time a tear came down from ABRAHAM’S eye, to my parent’s surprise and sorrow. If I remember correctly  (I was not in the room), they were told that that is a normal bodily reaction of someone in my brother’s condition. 

I only found out about my brother’s tear about a week or two after his funeral and this only served to cause me more pain and sorrow. As is usual, during these types of circumstances my family was in shock, distress, and not thinking clearly. This of coarse is the best time to ask for the organs, being led to believe that there is no possibility for recovery, or at best, a recovery that would be with extreme brain damage, and therefore a life of pain and costly and constant medical attention. As is the case, we were lead to believe that the only good outcome of this was to help out another family in need of an organ transplant.

I remember leaving the hospital that morning obviously in pain, but with an unusual strong feeling that something was not right. If only I knew of my brother’s tear I WOULD HAVE NEVER allowed for him to be disconnected from the life support systems. I felt I was abandoning my brother while I was driving home and he was left alone surrounded by people, nurses and doctors who only saw him as a donor by this time.

That tear spoke volumes to me, it proclaimed, exclaimed his love for us, his sorrow of the accident, his sorrow that we were in sorrow. That tear was his only source to a plea that he was still there, knowing that my family was misled of his true condition. But it was a tear also of thanksgiving, especially to my parents, for the life they gave and provided for him. It was a tear that said he knew he was left in the bosom of God’s tender and loving arms, His Grace.

About a month after his death we received a letter from the hospital stating that due to the massive injuries and therefore the massive amounts of medicine used on my brother during the 13 hour long operation to try to save his life, all his donated organs were not allowed to be used for organ transplants. This only added more pain and anger to the situation.

I have left out many details and only gave a taste of that sorrowful day to give your readers an awareness of the donor agenda and those behind it. I do, in some circumstances believe in donations, but there needs to be a set of clear and concise definitions of when it is acceptable for organ donation, and cannot and should not be left up to one doctor’s discretion, otherwise there would be no less amount of definitions than there are doctors, which would number in the tens of thousands.

Another point to be made is that operations cost a whole lot of money, and these hospitals want to make a whole lot of profit. Then it stands to reason that if a hospital wants to make money, then they must pay a huge fee to the families who gave the organs because nothing is free in this world. This of coarse will cut deeply into their bottom line and will force them to reconsider just stealing organs from a live person to make their pockets bigger. This is a harsh way to look at it but it is no less the truth.

God bless you all, 
Frank Donato – Ontario, Canada

Reading the article, I am left to question the purpose of so much clinical information about the actual condition of the son being left out of the article.  There is no evidence provided, of the national brain death squad purported, other than the bold claim that “it happens at all hospitals” and a script is used.  Really?  All hospitals?  Where is the evidence to support this claim?  There was no information shared about why the consent was signed by the father, other than shock and grief.  No clinical evidence entered the view at all.

The article is useful in increasing the awareness of the apnea test mentioned, which is disturbing as presented in itself. The article was not objective or comprehensive in its treatment of the subject, and was intensely one sided on an issue that is complex and intensely consequential to the lives of others.  There is stridency in tone, and this lack of objectivity and absence of both sides being represented first hand is really disappointing.  It’s nice to print a quick article about a horror going on…but this horror you point to was NOT objectively evidenced in the article—and this does not help the cause in any manner.

Paul Buckley