Dead Is Dead – Except When It Isn’t
Bill Quick

Family wants brain-dead California girl moved | The Salinas Californian |

OAKLAND (AP) — The family of a girl who was declared brain dead after complications from a tonsillectomy wants to transfer her to a nursing home that is willing to keep caring for her even though doctors have said she is beyond recovery, a lawyer said Thursday.

Before the nursing home can accept the 13-year-old as a patient, however, doctors at Children’s Hospital Oakland need to surgically insert breathing and feeding tubes into Jahi McMath that would allow the new facility to keep her body functioning, the lawyer, Christopher Dolan, told The Associated Press.

David Durand, the hospital’s chief of pediatrics, said the hospital would not cooperate with Jahi’s transfer to another facility. The judge did not authorize or order any transfer or surgery, Durand said in a statement released Thursday evening.

“Children’s Hospital Oakland does not believe that performing surgical procedures on the body of a deceased person is an appropriate medical practice,” he said.

I might tend in the the direction of the docs here, but for this:

Dad rescues ‘brain dead’ son from doctors wishing to harvest his organs – boy recovers completely |

There seem to be more than a few stories like this.  I wonder if there is some way to leave a will or other sort of legally binding instructions to cover situations like these?

Anybody know?

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Bill Quick

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.


Dead Is Dead – Except When It Isn’t — 2 Comments

  1. Not directly on topic, but I’ve come to oppose organ donation from either corpses or living donors. Basically, everyone involved makes money or otherwise benefits from the donation. Everyone except for the donor and/or family members. Even the generalized “let us chop up your child today and if enough people continue to donate then if you ever need an organ one will probably be available for you” is a poor bet because in practice there are not nearly enough organs for everyone who needs them, and no priority is given to those who have previously “done their part”.

    So the doctors get paid, the administrators get paid, the staffers and important decision makers at United Network for Organ Sharing get paid, and the clerk who files the paperwork gets paid. The recipient of course benefits. You? You get a thank-you. (If that. A co-worker donated bone marrow — a very painful procedure — and never got so much as an acknowledgement from the recipient. A different coworker let his daughter’s (?) body be cut up, got a thank-you on the spot from the doctor or administrator who talked him into it, then not even a thank-you form letter from the hospital.)

    Why would any rational person contribute to this system?

    Add in the pressure on the medical system to provide organs for the needy (or the “needy”) and the continuing shortage of usable organs, and thus the completely predictable harvesting of organs from not-quite-dead-yet people, and you’d have to be insane to trust in the unbiased honesty of some surgeon who gives you the bad news that your family member died and the matching good news that you can give the gift of life to dozens of people. All for no benefit to yourself or anyone you know, mind you.

    Even blood donations are sketchy. First, note that I’ve donated plenty of blood over the decades, close to two gallons through the Red Cross and maybe not quite that much through the Army or hospital-affiliated collectors.

    No more, though. For one thing, the Red Cross office which handles the Albany, NY, region bodged their paperwork at least twice and had to destroy thousands of units of blood. If the stuff isn’t important enough for them to do the paperwork, then it isn’t important enough for me to waste my time to donate (and often enough get my arms gouged; the Red Cross didn’t seem to go for quality when hiring blood drawers).

    More importantly, blood is big business. I’d kinda known that for a while, just based on listening to competing blood banks luring people in, but hadn’t thought much about it. Someone dug deeper recently. (It might have been Radiolab’s Blood episode, but I’m not sure about that, and don’t feel like re-listening to the podcast to check either way.) I don’t wish to cooperate in a game in which I’m guilted into helping others profit, for no benefit to myself.

  2. It’s not a matter of cooperation, it’s getting caught in the medical maw, from my personal experience. In the late 70′s I was living with a female CU pathology resident. One night, a cowboy was doing what he considered entertainment — getting drunk and fighting. He knocked down a young man, who hit his head, went into a coma, and was shipped to Denver General. He had no EEG and was put on a respirator. It turned out he was a match for a liver transplant patient of the bastard pioneering liver transplant Dr. Starzl at CU. He convinced the DG resident to disconnect the respirator so he could do his liver transplant (without another EEG). My girlfriend did the autopsy to determine cause of death. She concluded it was disconnecting the respirator, until the pressure forced her to change it to the fight. The end result: the cowboy was convicted of murder, and the transplant patient died 6 mos. later.

    Takeaway — they think they are the gods of life and death, and we are their guinea pigs to experiment on.

    BTW — after this, ALL the CU resdents revoked their organ donation permissions.

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