The market for brain death

Half a million for your organs

surgeonsThe following comes from a Sept. 26 posting on

A silent and deadly epidemic is moving across America. No one is broadcasting it. No one is writing about it. Almost no one is even talking about it. But every day in hospitals, nursing homes and hospices across the country, more and more of our medically vulnerable loved ones are being euthanized.

Indeed, some physicians have admitted to this behavior. A 1998 article from the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that hastening death is occurring and is not rare. In a survey of 355 oncologists, “(15.8%) reported participating in euthanasia or physician assisted suicide,” and “38 of 53 (72%) oncologists described clearly defined cases of euthanasia or physician assisted suicide.1

These decisions are being made by paid medical professionals. And loved ones, to their horror, are finding they’re not even part of the discussion. The patients’ crimes? They’re charged with having insufficient quality of life, being too expensive to keep alive, and being beyond the reach of medical science and therefore beyond hope.

Such judgments may lie behind what seems to be an increase in the “brain death” diagnosis. The difficulty of making a pinpoint diagnosis in such complex neurological matters—and the lucrative financial incentives to harvest organs—will ultimately propel this issue into the forefront of public consciousness and discourse.

Not surprisingly, the current procurement market for human tissues and organs in the United States is booming, driven by insufficient supply and heavy demand. According to The Milliman Report (see page 4), if all 11 tissues and organs could be harvested from a single patient declared brain-dead, however unlikely, the going rate for procurement would exceed half a million dollars. If all costs related to those 11 transplants are counted—preparation, physicians’ services, post-op care and the like—the money involved exceeds $5.5 million.2

It’s crucial to shed a bright light on this menacing darkness, but we need your help. Here are four ways you can assist:

First, we need to hear from healthcare workers and professionals. If you’ve witnessed this happening in your work environment, please come forward and share your observations with us. Perhaps you or someone you know has inside knowledge of the organ donation process as it relates to a situation of euthanasia.

Second, we need your personal stories. We’re also looking for family members willing to share healthcare experiences involving a loved one that are similar to what we’ve conveyed in this letter.

Please trust that if you request your identity be held in confidence, that confidentiality will not be violated.

Third, we need people willing to be interviewed on camera. We have a golden opportunity to educate more Americans to euthanasia in our midst. A special episode of the Emmy© award-winning pro-life television series Facing Life Head-On with Brad Mattes plans to feature real-life accounts of people sharing specifics of this American travesty. The program reaches tens of millions of American households, so imagine the number of people whose eyes could be opened. America will be told what is happening to the elderly, the chronically sick and the cognitively disabled. If necessary, we can keep the identity of our TV guests confidential.

Finally, we need your prayers. This is, first and foremost, a battle against powers and principalities. We cannot hope to win on our own. Only the power of prayer will permit us to expose this hideous and inhumane attack on precious human life.

If you prefer not to be on television, we still need you. Our ultimate goal is to build a network of people who can speak publicly about these issues to educate others regarding this horrific, unnoticed practice. This may entail speaking to pro-life groups or others sympathetic to protecting innocent human life; addressing a state legislative committee regarding pending legislation; or speaking to a hospital ethics committee as they struggle with a challenging situation or policy. Our goal is to develop a network of experienced experts who can speak directly to the issues at hand.

This is literally a life-and-death matter. And we who are blessed to have life and a voice must intervene to help those who are in danger of having life taken from them. We hope to hear from you soon.

Reach us by e-mail or visit the Euthanasia page on the Life Issues Institute website.

To read the original story, click here.



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  1. Please pray for Father Groeschel:
    O Gracious and loving father,
    we humbly implore You
    to look kindly upon Your son and servant
    Father Benedict Joseph.
    Invoking Your Divine Mercy,
    we ask that You manifest in a unique, evident, and wonderful way
    relief from the burden of his present illness and injury.
    As we approach Your Holy Majesty
    with certain faith, sure hope, and full confidence,
    we beg to obtain this special grace;
    so that he may receive even now
    a foretaste of the full reward
    that awaits him in the future.
    We entrust this prayer in a special way
    to Your dedicated and faithful servant,
    Father Solanus Casey.
    May this holy friar,
    who so inspired Father Benedict here on earth,
    now powerfully intercede for him from heaven.

  2. Since society no longer values life, and In order to prevent murder, and live your life as long as intended by God (not man) –
    every Catholic must have a WRITTEN and witnessed
    1) “Appointing a HEALTH CARE SURROGATE ” – appointing/naming those persons who are designated to make health care decisions on your behalf, but only if you are unable to do so yourself.
    2) “An ADVANCE MEDICAL DIRECTIVE” – in accord with the teachings of the Church, including palliative care.
    Read ” Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” #2276 – 2279, 2301.
    3) Be certain to include that you want a Catholic Priest called for “Anointing of the Sick”.

    Here is an explanation with sample forms linked.

    Keep the Originals in a safe place with your appointed surrogate(s) knowing where they are:
    1) Give a copy to your family doctor (and all other doctors you may have) for your medical file(s).
    2) Give a copy to the hospital when you enter for surgery, etc.
    3) Give a copy to your surrogate(s) for their file.

    • Directives are important for all Catholics who are over age 17.

      JESUS said: “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
      Mt: 25:13.

  3. Did you know that it is possible to get a PLENARY INDULGENCE at the time of death if a Priest gives you an Apostolic blessing ?
    See “Manual of Indulgences” page 54. #12.

    In addition to a Catholic Bible, and the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition”,
    the “Manual of Indulgences” is wonderful for your Catholic home library.

    O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world,
    in reparation for my sins and those of my family members,
    for the needs of all my family and friends, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father.
    I wish to gain all indulgences attached to the prayers I shall say and to the good works the I shall do this day. Amen

  4. OneoftheSheep says:

    It sure does appear to me that the judgments being rendered by the physicians in these euthanasia cases indicates that it is a malfunction of their own brains which must be called into question.
    “The patients’ crimes? They’re charged with having insufficient quality of life, being too expensive to keep alive, and being beyond the reach of medical science and therefore beyond hope.”
    One must ask if there is hope that the merciless decisions being made to abort the lives of our elderly and vulnerable are a sign of their own brains’ failure to recognize human life.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Health care directives are fine, but most adult children or other family members ignore them and keep their parents suffereing for weeks or months. If the patients wishes were heeded here would not be the prolonged drag it out at all costs type of stuff. Many adult children put their parents through horrific suffering just to keep them alive at any cost, and it’s the patient who pays through excruciating pain. Doctors know this, so reports that death is sometimes slightly hastened is not news. Doctors are loyal to the patient, not the adult children.

    • Anonymous, you are anti-Catholic.
      Trying to discourage people from adhering to the Faith is up your alley.

      Doctors and hospitals do not need law suits, and most do adhere to the written requirements of the patent. – BUT ONLY when the patients or their surrogates provide them.

      My Son is a doctor. He does follow the written document from the patient.
      If the patient wants something my Son can not morally do, another Doctor is appointed by the hospital to do the deed.

    • I have a friend whose elderly uncle had a minor stroke. The doctors told his children that they could not give him anything by mouth or else he would aspirate and die of pneumonia. This man was fully conscious and able to communicate, but instead of asking if he wanted a feeding tube placed, the doctor and his children agreed to follow the man’s previously written request never to have a feeding tube placed. No one tried giving him fluid nor food by mouth and the man ultimately dehydrated to death over the course of 11 days. He kept asking for water, but all he was given was morphine. My friend begged his cousins not to do this to his uncle and gave them information, but they would not change their minds. After seeing the horrible manner of death her father experienced, three years later one of the cousins continues to suffer from tremendous guilt.

      Following this man’s previously expressed wishes caused him MUCH suffering!

      • Tracy: I bet hospice was involved too! We just recently went through the same thing with my mom, just a little different situation. Hospice told us not to give my mom water because she would aspirate. At one point my mom looked at my sister and then at a glass of water and my sister told her that she was told not to give her a drink or she would aspirate to death. Hospice kept giving her morphine and she starved and dehydrated to death. My brother was power of attorney and I and a few others in the family kept telling him to stop so much morphine because she was so tired she couldn’t stay up to eat or drink. He didn’t listen and just exactly one week later she passed away. She suffered needlessly because of hospice. This is how hospice operates. Morphine, morphine, and even more morphine until they die. Nobody will ever convince me that hospice didn’t kill my mother with morphine. They did! She was skeletal like Terri Shiavo!

        • Ann Malley says:

          Keep telling your story, RR. You may not have had power to help your mother, but her sacrifice is what gives rise to your voice to help others and keep them from listening to those they should not.

          God bless.

        • RR, my condolences on the horrible death of your mother. I can only imagine the pain you are enduring. Yes, hospice was involved in my friend’s uncle’s death, but it was the doctors who had the opportunity to treat him, who insisted that he be dehydrated to death. He was sent to a hospice facility which had the appearance of a fancy hotel.

          I would encourage you and everyone else who have had similar experiences, to go to the website provided in the article and submit your story. I believe that one of the most powerful game changers in the pro-life movement (with regards to abortion) is the fact that there are now women who are sometimes 40 years or more post abortive who are sharing the devastation abortion has had on their lives. This does not stop the propagandists from continuing to push abortion as an empowerment to women, but little by little, it is waking up those who hear the message of these women and can now see the abortion industries lies for what they are.

          • Tracy and Ann Malley: My family has just in the last 6 weeks had the same thing happen with my dad. My dad is in assisted living and he ended up in the hospital (long story short he fell and hurt his shoulder) with pneumonia. He had spells where we couldn’t wake him up. Me and a couple other of my sister’s were afraid of him dying and we had the priest come give him Extreme Unction as we did with our mother this past April. Unbeknownst to me and most other brothers and sisters(there are 11 of us) the doctors had him on pain killers. My brother who is power of attorney knew this. My dad, like my mom, had stopped eating and drinking because of the pain meds. My dad just slept all day and he couldn’t stay awake to eat. I, and a few other of my sisters, were feeding him what we could get in him. If it weren’t for us he wouldn’t have eaten. He would fall asleep when we were feeding him. Long story short again, a different doctor came in and asked why he was on pain meds when he wasn’t even in pain or awake. So, he took my dad off all the pain meds.

          • Tracy and Ann Malley cont.. When the doctor left, my brother had a family meeting with some of us in the family. He told us that he could have my dad put back at his assisted living home with hospice and “comfort care” aka morphine or we could try to treat the pneumonia and he could die in the horrible hospital. He said that he only had a 30-40. Really? Only 30 or 40 percent? To me that is pretty good percentage. I’d play the lottery with those odds! He said that he would prefer dad go to the assisted living with “comfort care” and would any of us have a problem with that. I had promised my mom on at her grave that I would protect dad and not let the same thing happen to him that happened to her. I told him that I DID have a problem with that and we need to treat the pneumonia. I spoke up for my mom and dad. Then, the other brothers and sisters that were there agreed with me, so dad stayed in the hospital and they began treating the pneumonia. So, he was taken off all pain meds and started antibiotics. Later that morning I said what I thought was my final good-bye to my dad because I had to go home which is a couple hours from him. He was not awake and I hugged him, kissed him, and thanked him for being a good dad. I went home thinking the next time I would see him he would be gone. I cried all day. That evening one of my sisters called me and told me that dad was awake and ate a huge dinner and drank a whole soda. I said, ” WHAT?” My sister said the meds wore off and dad was a lot better and doing pretty good. To make a Looong story short my dad is back in assisted living and he looks better than he did before he went in the hospital. People, do NOT trust hospice! My brother trusted and was deceived by these hospice people not once, but twice. If I, and a few others, didn’t speak up for my dad he would be 6 feet under right now. I went and saw him yesterday and I gave him the biggest hug that I ever have!

          • Ann Malley says:

            Again, God bless you RR for sticking up for your Dad’s ‘right’ to life and realistic care. I hope you know that your horrific experience with your mother, God bless her, played a crucial role in your being able to advocate SO well on behalf of your father.

            Whenever you think of your poor mom, think of that, RR. She no doubt is very pleased that her sacrifice was not for nothing.

            Please give your Father a hug and kiss for me as my father is gone. I was not in a position to advocate for my father and much of his passing was not as it should have been thanks to the intervention of one of my six sisters – a former ‘hospice’ nurse.

            Just the thought of your Dad eating a hearty meal puts a smile on my face. So THANK YOU! And again, God bless. And keep talking.

        • Anonymous says:

          Didn’t they give you the moistened swabs?

          • Anonymous: No, they did not give moistened swabs for my dad. He didn’t get to the point that he needed them because I, and a few others in the family, intervened with hospice advise to put my dad back in assisted living with “comfort care.” They did for my mom though. These swabs, in my opinion, helped my mom’s mouth, but what good did they do for her whole body?

          • Anonymous says:

            So they did not give her fluids in an IV?

          • Anonymous: No they did not give her an IV. My mother was in a nursing home for rehabilitation for a leg amputation(the wound was gangrene and seriously infected) and they said she wasn’t responding to therapy and she had to be put in a nursing home and they could no longer care for her. This is where hospice came in. They told us to put her in the assisted living where my dad was and that they would come in and care for her. So, we did. She was so dehydrated when she got to the assisted living that they couldn’t get an IV in her vein. That is why it was so crucial to give her fluids, but hospice had her so full of morphine she couldn’t eat or drink anything. She couldn’t stay awake. What was so frustrating is that we asked our brother to get someone else to try to put it in and hospice told him that this nurse was the best of the best and nobody else would be able to do it. They wouldn’t even try. I can’t tell you how many times I had to have someone else put an IV in to me because someone couldn’t get it in. Actually, hospice’s policy is to NOT give IV’s but they told us they would do it for my mom because we insisted. They don’t give IV’s because they say it prolongs the suffering and the body needs to let nature take it’s course. What a crock!

          • Anonymous says:

            RR, I’m sorry.
            All the deaths I have been present at left me with a lot of questions. You feel like maybe they didn’t have to die. Maybe the nurses could have done more. Maybe I should have said more and kicked them out or something.
            I have left instructions for no morphine and no ativan.
            I really never want to be present at another family member’s death.

          • Anonymous: Exactly! Those questions did come to my mind. Funny you should mention Ativan. My mom was on that at the same time she had morphine. She was also on some sort of patch too. When she went to the rehab nursing home in a different town the doctor there saw her condition and immediately tore the patch off and took her off of the morphine and Ativan. She needed some sort of pain med for her leg but I can’t remember what the name was.. She sort of came to a little to where we could feed her if we kept shaking her to awaken her and we could give her a little to drink with a syringe type thing. I was giving my mom water with it when a nurse came in and scolded me and told me we were not allowed to use that. She told me my mom would get pneumonia if we did that and she literally took it from me. My sister actually had a nurse yell at her and told her to” quit force feeding your mother! You need to accept that she is dying!” It’s like everyone but the family gave up on her and quit, doctors included. None of the doctors were on the same page and my brother who was power of attorney was clueless and made really bad decisions. I don’t think he did it on purpose. He put ALL his trust in the doctors and hospice and very bad decisions were made. I, like you, have told my kids and husband to NEVER give me morphine unless I am at the very END of my life where I am struggling to breath, no hope, and death is imminent. Make sure to get it in writing that you want hydration and a feeding tube so you don’t have to ever go through what my mom went through and what my dad and almost went through, not to mention what our family went through.

      • Ann Malley says:

        …what guilt indeed. How the relatives can live with it, I cannot tell. But the ‘professionals’ that deal in this methodology – I cannot imagine how they sleep at all.

  6. MIchael McDermott says:

    For those who have Forgotten (or tried to avoid thinking about) the Administrations tax subsidized Bio-Terrorist, Dan ‘The Savage Lickspittle’ and his “Frothy Mixer” Stalker allies – the following is a not so gentle reminder that they are still out there, and want you to be Afraid, Very Afraid – as it is the ‘tolerant’ thing to do:

    “Germs Spread Through Offices in Just a Few Hours: Study
    …new research that shows a cold virus can spread through an office in only a few hours.

    … a single door contaminated with a virus can spread the germ to about half the surfaces and hands of about half the employees in the office within four hours, the Wall Street Journal reports.

    Germs traveled through the office just as quickly when the researchers infected a single person with the virus.

    “The hand is quicker than the sneeze,” …

    Within two hours, the virus had contaminated the break room — including the coffee pot, microwave button, fridge door handle — and then spread to restrooms, individual offices, and cubicles.

    The virus contaminated phones, desks, and computers. Within four hours, the virus was found on more than 50 percent of the commonly touched surfaces and on hands of about half of the employees in the office.

  7. MIchael McDermott says:

    BTW – This whole ‘Brain Dead’ thing sounds like an attack on the Tenure Track in Academentia, particularly ‘catholic – small ‘c’ – Universities, like Santa Clara, Loyola, Sandy Dayglow…

    One would not want a little thing like Brain Death to interfere with their wallowing at the front of the money trough.

    Or would one?

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COMMENTS POLICY: Comments are limited to 750 characters and will be truncated at 750. Comments should not contain offensive or libelous language. Please strive to be civil. All comments are subject to approval by our moderator and to editing as the moderator deems appropriate. Inclusion of your email address is optional.