Tuesday, February 09, 2010

"Brain dead" patients aware and responding say brain scans

If only Terri Schiavo were allowed to live to this day, she would be vindicated.
Brain scans done on "Brain dead" patients are proving that they understand and respond to questions. We just weren't astute enough to hear them until now.
But wait, far from using this advance to help alleviate suffering by asking these patients what they've been trying to tell us, Kevorkian types want to ask them if they want to die.
But folks are already noting that the new technique may put more pressure on people suffering from PVS to just go ahead and die.

So what can—and by rights should—be a vindication for pro-lifers may get twisted into a new way to promote euthanasia
What could be a great advance in compassion, will be just another inroad for the Culture of Death unless valiant Catholics in health care stand up for life.
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Read the entire story here.
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3 comments:

Isidore Bard said...

Hopefully this is a helpful distinction: this study refers to patients who are in a “Permanent Vegetative State”, not ‘Brain-dead’. It’s a crucial difference: patients in a “vegetative state” breathe spontaneously, digest food naturally, carry on other metabolic functions, and are in a stable situation. But they are not able to feed themselves.
(http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20070801_nota-commento_en.html)

While someone who is brain dead loses the involuntary functioning that is necessary to sustain life: breathing spontaneously, digesting food naturally, carrying on metabolic functions, etc. It is the complete and irreversible cessation of all brain activity. It is considered a valid definition of death. Or more correctly, it is considered a clear biological indication that death has occurred. (‘“brain death” indicates the lack of integration of the body, a sign that the integrating principle of human life, the soul, is no longer present.” The National Catholic Bioethics Center. Handbook on Critical Life Issues, Leies, McCarthy, Bayer, Third Edition, p. 179.)
Here is a document on the matter of ‘Brain Death’ put out by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences:

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_academies/acdscien/2009/excerpt_signs_of_death_5l.pdf

They state that “…the neurological community (with a few exceptions) acknowledges that something essential distinguishes brain death from all other types of severe brain dysfunction that encompass alterations of consciousness (for example, coma, vegetative state, and minimally conscious state). If the criteria for brain death are not met, the barrier between life and death is not crossed, no matter how severe and irreversible a brain injury may be.”

I share your Pro-Life stance, but just wanted to give you a hand in being accurate in your terminology (since you are acting as a public representative of the faith), I hope this comes across charitably!

All of that being said, I share your disgust that the Culture of Death would use this as a launching pad for Euthanasia.
God’s blessings,

-Fr. Isidore Bard

Leticia said...

Thank you Father, I am grateful for the clarification.

Matt Walker, Attorney At Law said...

Liberals and advocates of the culture of death only embrace science as their God when it suits their political agenda. Keep up the good work. I love reading your blog.

-Matt