Always Hungry for More Organs, Transplant Surgeons Are Exploiting – and Illuminating the Different Standards for Determining Death

Matthew Hanley

Are you familiar with something called the “partial resurrection” procedure? That’s how MedPage Today referred to it in a recent article. You might suppose it is some kind of transhumanist scheme to bring the dead back to life, but it is an emerging technique used by transplantation surgeons upon organ donors.

… in this procedure, physicians declare a patient dead prematurely (shortly after heart failure), then deploy interventions to resume circulation in the patient in order to optimize organ viability. But – get this – they deliberately block the circulation of oxygenated blood from reaching the brain.

Ensuring that the brain is deprived of oxygenated blood while other organs are being perfused with it does two things: it preserves organs for transplantation, and it ensures that the patient dies — at the hands of the surgeons, in a manner other than the patient had already been naturally dying.

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