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Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Warning to potential 'Organ' donors - beware!

Very recently a large part of the editorial of the Daily Telegraph was devoted to the subject of  human ‘organ donations’ and the apparent need for many more donors, and the most effective way of satisfying this need. This is a controversial and emotive subject with talk of ‘assumed consent in law’ for all adults unless they have previously opted-out in writing. 

Coincidentally or not, on February 16th 2012, an article appeared on the ‘Renew America’ website, written by Dr Paul Byrne MD,  for the benefit of 'Pastoral Care Workers' dedicated to caring for patients in hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities, who have become primary targets for what he describes as the ‘insidious indoctrination’ of the organ donation industry.  

I have taken the liberty of quoting extracts from this important and informed article by Dr Byrne, a member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, and past-President of the Catholic Medical Association (USA), who writes:- 
               “Pastoral Care Workers include not only priests and ministers at the bedside, but also Eucharistic ministers and other assistants and ultimately, the bishop, who is the shepherd of the Pastoral Care Workers. Today, Pastoral Care Workers are routinely asked to consult and actually encourage patients in hospitals to become organ donors. They are told to believe the lie that so-called "brain dead" patients are truly dead, when all their senses are telling them just the opposite.”

“There is no explicit requirement that prospective organ donors be given adequate information about the procedures involved in organ harvesting so that informed and rational decisions can be made. In almost all cases, the basic medical principles of "informed consent" are denied the patient/donor by transplant physicians, nurses, and industry representatives. This being the case, the role of the Pastoral Care Worker in advocating for the patient/donor becomes all the more important and urgent.”

“It seems only fair and equitable that a transplant surgeon ought to explain in detail the whole organ transplant process to the potential patient/donor and his family. But how many people will agree to be organ donors after they are informed (in addition to other equally distressing facts - see 'renewamerica' link below),  that organs can be transplanted only when healthy and must be removed while there is respiration, circulation and a beating heart?   Significantly,  the donor’s ‘time of death’ will be officially registered after the removal of all vital organs, not when some doctor arbitrarily declares him/her ‘brain dead’”

 “ Potential donors should understand before signing the donor application or donor card that once they have agreed to be a donor, their interests and welfare becomes secondary to that of the organ recipient. They will no longer be considered true "patients" but rather a source of spare human parts and vital organs to be used for "transplantation, therapy, research and education." The donor should know that death will be imposed on the operating table for another's benefit and for the financial good of the organ transplantation industry.”

“Patients should realize that it costs hospitals and other transplantation facilities money to adequately treat patients to protect and preserve their life. On the other hand, these same hospitals make a great deal of money from "organ transplantation, therapy, research and education." 

 “A diagnosis of "brain death" by neurological criteria is theory, not scientific fact. Also, irreversibility of neurological function is a prognosis, not a medically observable fact.”  Over time many have stated that the conceptual and/or medical bases for these approaches to determine death are fundamentally flawed, and depart substantially from our biological and common-sense understandings of death.

 “It appears that Pastoral Care Workers are no better informed about the truth of vital organ transplantation than the average layman. Nor have they been unaffected by the organ industry's propaganda machine which spill out emotionally loaded expressions like "last wishes," "you can't take them with you," "gift of life," "donate life," etc.”

 “Death can be determined when there is no breathing, no heart beat, no response and the body becomes cold. Before 1968 physicians did not hurry the final declaration of death in order not to declare someone dead before true death. Then the desire to transplant hearts and other vital organs prompted the invention of "brain death." This "allowed" the transplant surgeon to dissect the living person.  This is the truth concerning unpaired vital organ transplantation. It is a truth that pastoral care workers must understand if they are to respond to the needs of patients and their families, rather than the needs and desires of the ‘Organ transplantation industry’ and its minions.

“The dubious nature of "brain death" as a criterion to select persons for organ donation, is demonstrated by the recovery of numerous "brain dead" patients”,   Dr Byrne’s full report, including details of several recovery cases, can be seen on  the ‘Renew America’ website:-

 Ack. Dr Paul Byrne MD Director of Neonatology and Director of Pediatrics at St. Charles Mercy Hospital in Oregon, Ohio, and Clinical Professor of Pediatrics University of Toledo College of Medicine 

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