Marlowe's Shade

Friday, April 08, 2005

Dead or Alive

From NewsMax

Karijotas posted a slightly different version at Discarded Lies

Terri Schiavo is not the first innocent victim of murder sanctioned by judicial fiat, although the heroic efforts of her parents alerted the world about her heartbreaking death sentence.

Almost four decades ago, the fallacious concept of "brain death" was introduced to pry open the legal doors to the killing of another group of unnoticed innocents - people who agree to donate their vital organs at death.

Deeply compassionate people are encouraged to consent in writing to allow another person to benefit from their vital organs, such as the heart or liver, after they die. Potential donors overcome their discomfort about the procedure by imagining they will be giving away unneeded organs from their cold, lifeless bodies. But the real situation is often quite different.

According to the testimony of Dr. Paul Byrne, a neonatologist from Toledo, Ohio, to a Pontifical Academy of Sciences meeting in Rome in February:

"All the vital signs of the donors are still present prior to the harvesting of organs, such as: normal body temperature and blood pressure; the heart is beating; vital organs, like the liver and kidneys, are functioning; and the donor is breathing with the help of a ventilator."

Since organs deteriorate rapidly after the moment of actual death, the "brain death" fiction allows them to be removed while they are still alive and usable for transplant.

Those who defend the removal of organs in this way may agree that the donors are actually alive in the traditional sense, but then argue that "brain death" means the quality of the donor's life is so poor that the benefits of transplanting their organs to extend the life of another outweighs the cost of killing them in the process.

The usual meaning of the word "death" is twisted for the benefit of people who have an interest in declaring a dying person dead as soon as possible. Such interested third parties could include family members, like Michael Schiavo, who want guaranteed legal immunity when they discontinue life-prolonging measures.

As with living wills, I'll going to think twice now about checking the box on my registration form to be an organ donor.
papijoe 12:05 PM