From the category of “better late than never,” I want to draw attention to the organ donation controversy that has been in the news on and off for the last month.
Brain Death v. True Death
Two well known physicians in the field of organ donation, Drs. Troug and Miller, published an article in the New England Journal of Medicine contesting the current “brain death” standard used in organ donations. According to LifeNews.com:
The authors claim that patients brain dead may not really be dead, since, as one example, some patients declared dead by neurological criteria secrete certain hormones. Nor, they argue, should patients whose organs are procured under protocols that permit harvesting two-to-five minutes after full cardiac arrest be considered deceased because some of these patients might be resuscitated with vigorous CPR.
Unfortunately their solution is to have patients (and their surrogates) sign consent forms stating that they are willing to donate their organs before death as long as they receive anesthesia! Anyone who believes life is sacred should be horrified at this these people are highly respected in their field!
Second, a Wall Street Journal article from August 14 discusses new heart transplant procedures for newborns. Thank you to Mary in Pennsylvania for calling this to my attention. According to the article:
Until now only hearts from donors who were brain-dead and whose hearts will still functioning after they were declared dead have been considered suitable for transplant. To make the donors hearts more viable, doctors at Children’s Hospital in Denver altered the standards for declaring the patients dead a move that has provoked serious concern among some medical experts. The Denver researchers narrowed to as little as 75 seconds the time between when the donor was pronounced dead and when the heart was removed. [C]urrent guidelines call for waiting up to five minutes as a way of making certain that the heart does not start beating again on its own.
Robert Veatch, a Georgetown University medical ethicist commented on the new procedure:
“Removing organs from a patient whose heart not only can be restarted, but also has been or will be restarted in another body, is ending a life by organ removal.”
As much as we would all like these babies to have every chance to live a healthy life, if it comes at the expense of ending another life before God intends, we need to question our doctors.
Bishops Question “Proportionate Reasons” to vote for a Pro-Abort
I’d like to applaud the bishops of the Kansas City region, the Most Reverend Joseph Naumann and the Most Reverend Robert Finn who published an excellent letter on the importance of voting pro-life.
They quote a memo from the office of Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, which argues that:
When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favor of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.
They go on, however, to remark, “What could possibly be a proportionate reason for the more than 45 million children killed by abortion in the past 35 years? Personally, we cannot conceive of such a proportionate reason.”
For that matter, neither can I.
Stopping Planned Parenthood Summit This Thursday
Please say a prayer that our “Stopping Planned Parenthood Summit” goes well on Thursday. Pro-life leaders from 16 states and 34 separate organizations will be meeting to formulate a united effort to take on Planned Parenthood. We’ll be releasing a Joint Resolution to the press, so keep an eye out for news stories on our work!