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When are organ donors clinically dead? Shocking case!

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posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 05:40 PM
I've just completed Ian Wilson's classic The After Death Experience (Sidgwick & Jackson, 1987) and highly recommend it for anyone pondering survival after death, and its nature.
The issue of what defines clinical death crops up towards the end, and for myself it is the most terrifying part.
Wilson does not mean to scare-monger, and admits to being a registered organ donor himself. Yet, throughout the book he cannot help but admit that our definitions of "clinical death" are hardly water-tight, and that by sheer luck some have arisen from icy waters after an hour of seeming death, or from the mortician's table before being embalmed, and many were probably buried or cut-up alive. The fact that they might have already been hovering outside the body hardly seems like a comforting mercy. Like abortions, people, even Kings, have been killed prematurely for social convenience. Wilson discusses how King George V's death was "speeded up" with fatal doses of morphine by his physician (Lord Dawson of Penn) on the pretext of a more "peaceful death", but ultimately it was to make the death (murder, really) coincide with the more "responsible morning newspapers", rather than the less sympathetic evening press. Wilson notes: "Like the abortionist, therefore, Dawson's motive was none other than social convenience" (p.201).
Well, if this is what they do to kings, I wonder about organ donors?
Wilson mentions a number of "stringent" tests to determine death (scraping the cornea, squirting icy water in the ears, briefly switching off breathing aparatus), and then the terrifying example:

Back in 1978 he (a British medical practitioner) was a junior surgeon who took part in an operation to remove the kidneys of a female patient who had been involved in a road accident and had been certified 'brain dead'. ...Suddenly, to the junior doctor's horror, the 'dead' woman gasped for breath, not merely once, but repeatedly. It was obvious that she was alive, even though she was without life support and now without any kidneys. As the junior told interviewer Neville Hodgkinson of the Sunday Times: "I drew it to the consultant's attention; he did something then of which I very much disapproved." That something, as he was reluctantly persuaded to reveal, was the removal of the tube routinely used to keep the airways open in a deeply unconscious patient. Deprived of this support to life, within a few minutes the woman really was unequivocally dead. (Wilson, pp. 202-203.)

Wilson mentions some other doctors who refused to do transplant surgery.
Is one then better off dead for social convenience? At that point it's very socially inconvenient to come back to life. I mean, your just removed organs are probably paid for and everything, so getting them back is very unlikely.
As an HIV-positive person I thought those nighmarish, exceptional possibilities were beyond me. But now they've performed the first kidney transplant between HIV patients in SA, and the issue of becomming a donor for another HIV-positive person resumes in my mind.
Are things better now - is clinical death/true death now more assured?

edit on 9-9-2010 by halfoldman because: spelling, citation mark errors

edit on 9-9-2010 by halfoldman because: missing comma, headline addition

posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 06:35 PM
reply to post by halfoldman
I've just read the Wikipedia summary, and it's left me somewhat queasy.
So the US (also, for example Spain) has an opt-out program? Your family or yourself must deliberatly opt-out?
That means you don't have to expressly become a donor for them to take your organs?
And they do it at "brain death"? The blood must still be pumping, so to speak.
I'd agree with Jewish law that the heart must at least be rythmically dead.
Oh, and this was news:
Prisoners must receive organs in operations of up to $1 million dollars!
Conversely they are also encouraged to expressly donate organs at death.

I'd agree with Brazil's opt-in program - they stopped the opt-out after fear of the medical system.
With the Western "New Cannibalism" of organs in Third World countries, I'm not surprised.
It's all so eewww

posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 07:47 PM
reply to post by halfoldman

I think the question really becomes how much we trust the medical system.
But I suppose becomming an organ donor, I now understand, has serious issues.
I suppose if I'm half-dead from an accident and both my kidneys are already out, I'd say fine ... I'll die. I'd have to, to be a donor? But ...mmm.

posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 08:23 PM
reply to post by halfoldman

Well ... they could have at least put one kidney back. They could always politely say you lost the other one in the accident, and the good news is you only need one.

posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 08:40 PM
I am an organ donor and have never given it much thought that I might loose my organs while still alive. However, my daughter has a fear regarding this, so much so that when we discussed it at length she had an anxiety attack, she said she had read some things on the net but did't give me the links she had been to. I will remain a donor but will alert family to the possibility that there just might be some that are willing to take an organ prematurely should we say. OMG the things we have to consider!

posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 09:26 PM
There was a story about organ donors being alive while organs were harvested in Time Magazine in 1998. Apparently nurses would come in and administer some drug that would make people appear dead, no pulse, and barely any noticable breathing. Patients appeared dead while family members were in the room, morphine was administered while organs were harvested. Why morphine if they're dead? It happened, supposedly, at the Cleveland Clinic and the doctor in charge of harvesting the organs at the same time owned a company in Wisconsin that sold organs for transplants.

So, in 2003 I met a nurse in St Pete Fl that was on vacation and she happened to work in the donor department at the Cleveland Clinic. When I asked her about the article, after some polite conversation, she got irrate and yelled "that never happened." Based on her reaction I think it did happen because she knew all the players in that article and went overboard trying to defend them.

The guilty are always the loudest!

posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 10:50 PM
reply to post by sasquatch5100

Absolutely chilling post.
Well, morphine would immobilize, and in doses give an acceptable cause of death (an accidental, compassionate overdose to an already weak system).

I mean let's face it, the corpse will undergo some butchering eventually, no matter where.
But that gray area is pretty scary.

It's like people are in denial here - and they think they can leave this all in the hands of the "professionals".

posted on Sep, 10 2010 @ 04:47 AM
Another worrisome case.
Alright this person was dibilitated, perhaps at death's door.
But who can rob a patient of that choice?
As Wilson points out, even someone barely conscious could have waking moments, final thoughts, and frequently, very ecstatic moments of introspection.
Who is the medical industry to rob people of that.
I mean even in harsh cases of extreme pain, they are actually not supposed to euthanize.
But not everybody goes in pain, for some it's the most meaningful moments in their life, perhaps.

posted on Sep, 10 2010 @ 04:52 AM
reply to post by sasquatch5100

In my link above, Morphine also seems to have been used as a killer:

According to a March 19 ruling by Superior Court Judge Martin Tangeman, that's when Roozrokh, already present in the OR, is alleged to have "willfully caused or permitted" Navarro to be given large doses of the painkiller morphine and the antianxiety medication Ativan. Despite repeated doses, the last three of them at 10- to 15-minute intervals, the ruling states, Ruben survived for eight more hours. Nurse Jennifer Endsley told police that he was "frothing from the mouth and shivering."
Death by doctor.
Reminds me of Dr Harold Shipman (, who murdered 218 people with morphine overdoses.
Because we associate it with pain-relief and peacefulness it loses some of the signs and stigma of murder.
It also leaves the organs untouched. A morphine addict supposedly makes for a better organ donor than an alcoholic.
Quite frightening how we can watch the "gods in white" treat loved ones or ourselves - and we might never know the truth.

edit on 10-9-2010 by halfoldman because: citation error

posted on Sep, 19 2010 @ 11:54 AM
A related issue on organ donor scandals which has again cropped up in South Africa's news this month.
It concerns the private hospital conglomorate Netcare. Allegations since 2003 have charged that the group is involved in flying poor Latin Americans and East Europeans into our country and transplating their organs (mainly kidneys) to wealthy foreigners (allegedly mainly rich Israelis - and several organ theft stories on ATS seem to concern the IDF and Israelis).
The charges are mainly of forgery and corrupution (although the donors are massively underpaid).
Surprisingly to me SA requires donors to be family of the recipient in such cases, and this required the massive forging of papers.

posted on Sep, 20 2010 @ 07:38 AM
not sure if this is slightly off topic, however word has it that China worked out that they could make more money out of organ donations and have turned it into a profitable business with executions of criminals being their main 2004 over 13000 transplants,'s_Republic_of_China (yes Wikipedia is not the best source i understand this)
"To meet demand an illegal trade in organs has boomed in a country that puts to death more convicted criminals than the rest of the world combined."

and even though the Chinese have made in illegal to have involuntary organ harvesting I find the concept fascinating that they had to make such a thing 'illegal' and how many people had their organs harvest...involuntarily and.... I have read other sources that says that if a person is under anesthetic the organs can be damaged.......mmmm what does that mean.... live, thats what it means and in Mexico people have been found dead on the streets, with no kidneys.

this thread poses and excellent discussion as the medical world has some interesting definitions for clinically dead

posted on Sep, 22 2010 @ 09:27 AM
reply to post by flashesofblue

Thanks for that, China and some 3rd world countries have some shocking things going on.
However, I was knocked off my feet when I saw the Crime and Investigation Channel Program, "When kids get life".
This documentary concerns juveniles in the US who are sentenced to life without parole. This assumes they are worse then some war criminals jailed for genocide. Often they are sentenced in states like Colorado, which don't even allow under-18's as culpable to drive a vehicle whithout adult supervision. Yet they are culpable for murder, even in cases where an individual is held liable for what a group does.
In the US (really worse than China on human rights, it now appears to me) Human Rights Watch says 2574 inmates are imprisoned for life without parole for crimes they commited or were simply involved in as juveniles.
The only other country to do this is Somalia. In this sense the US flouts several treaties it has signed.
What is worse is that several of these inmates are held in solitary confinement, with no transparency on the process.
Considering the opt-out organ donor policy, my first hunch was that this is simply a human organ donor farm.
Imprison them young, keep their bodies healthy and isolated (while killing their mental health) and soon you'll have drug-free, virus-free human organs.

A bit like the wicked witch fattening up Hansel and Gretel.
Or am I reading too much into this horrific scenario?

edit on 22-9-2010 by halfoldman because: Qualifier

posted on Sep, 22 2010 @ 10:20 AM
The 1977 book 'Coma' by Robin Cook deals with exactly this. Hospitals for profit have been around a longer than you think.

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