Claim: Organ donors give up their right of being totally dead before donating & may still feel pain

Esther L

New Member
Can someone give me links to prove or disprove what this doctor, Dr. claims to be true?
... He states that there are many cases where so called :dead people: still feel pain when their organs are removed based on signs of increased B/P and major twitching movements. He says, there should be more tests done to prove one is really dead and that if you don't sign a donor card, you and your relatives will have more leverage in getting these tests done before allowing organ donation.
http://worldtruth.tv/what-you-lose-when-you-sign-that-organ-donor-card-shocking/
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Can someone give me links to prove or disprove what this doctor, Dr. claims to be true?
... He states that there are many cases where so called :dead people: still feel pain when their organs are removed based on signs of increased B/P and major twitching movements. He says, there should be more tests done to prove one is really dead and that if you don't sign a donor card, you and your relatives will have more leverage in getting these tests done before allowing organ donation.
http://worldtruth.tv/what-you-lose-when-you-sign-that-organ-donor-card-shocking/
its a long article. I'm having a hard time finding your section.
1. what doctor is making these claims?
2. can you copy/paste his exact claim. as my quick, brief read through I'm not really seeing your interpretation of the claim.

as far as organ donor law, it seems each country has different laws. so are we talking the United States here?
 

NoParty

Senior Member.
Can someone give me links to prove or disprove what this doctor, Dr. claims to be true?
... He states that there are many cases where so called :dead people: still feel pain when their organs are removed based on signs of increased B/P and major twitching movements. He says, there should be more tests done to prove one is really dead and that if you don't sign a donor card, you and your relatives will have more leverage in getting these tests done before allowing organ donation.
http://worldtruth.tv/what-you-lose-when-you-sign-that-organ-donor-card-shocking/
Hi Esther, and welcome.
I read the article...
While WorldTruth.tv is, in general, a terribly unreliable source, this particular article is basically a re-print from the
somewhat more reputable (well, on certain matters, anyway) ;) Wall Street Journal
http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052970204603004577269910906351598

Dr. Robert Truog is clearly not making any claim that dead people still feel pain...he only says that he didn't use the
'rock' metaphor...likely because it could be interpreted as insensitive to families...
Possibly telling, though: Truog does not seem
to distance himself from the implications (that dead = no pain) of the 'rock' quote.

Author Dick Tirisi
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/books/review/the-undead-by-dick-teresi.html?_r=0
writes about science stuff, but is not and has never been a doctor, so that can't be who you
mean, either.



ETA: As I was typing this long-winded response, deirdre basically cut to the chase:
that there doesn't seem to be any doctor making any such claim...
 
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Hevach

Senior Member.
The claims of donors showing signs of surgical distress are true - there are medically documented cases, and there's dispute about whether they were simply unsuitable donors (i.e. not yet brain dead) or if a genuine phenomenon of physiological response without a neurological one.

However, all that is irrelevant with regards to organ donor cards. Yes, doctors have skirted rules, half-assed tests, harvested organs from unsavable patients rather than simply brain dead ones (technically this improves the chances of a successful transplant, since organs can start dying very quickly after the brain even with life support hooked up, so as awful a thing as it is, there's medical incentive), but none of those are nefarious terms you agree to when you sign your organ donor card... They're medical malpractice.

It happens with all types of donations, not just card donors. What the article omits is that those are legally and ethically required in ALL CASES, the United Network for Organ Sharing has allowed perfectly viable organs to be discarded rather than donated if they find these tests lacking. If a doctor will half-ass or outright falsify them for a card donor, they will half-ass or outright falsify them to the family as well.

In fact, there's a slightly better chance of that working if the family approves the donation, because in that case, the doctor seeking the donation can request a directed donation to a specific patient, bypassing the transplant list and keeping any approval process in the hospital, where an outside transplant board like UNOS can't reject the organ.
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
its also in the wall street journal, which is odd considering the inconsistencies and quote from Dr. truog that he never said such a thing.

A review of Mr. Teresi's notes after the publication of the essay reflects that Dr. Truog, when asked whether a donor feels pain, said "it's like kicking a rock." Dr. Truog, however, denies that he used the analogy. "I can tell you in the strongest possible terms that I am certain I never said anything like this.
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inconsistencies such as:

Today's tests concentrate on the stalk-like brain stem, in charge of basics such as breathing, sleeping and waking. The EEG would alert doctors if the cortex, the thinking part of your brain, is still active.
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but then the article mentions the Uniform Determination of Death Act which states no brain activity anywhere.
An individual who has sustained either (1) irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions, or (2) irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem, is dead. A determination of death must be made in accordance with accepted medical standards.
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deirdre

Senior Member.
an informative thread/forum of a transcript response to the article.

Last week in a Wall Street Journal article adapted from his book, Teresi said that when we choose to be organ donors, we are not really giving our informed consent, and he laid out some facts about organ donation that you may not know.

But doctors and others who work with organ donation programs say that Teresi is unnecessarily frightening people and could discourage people from becoming organ donors. We're going to hear from Teresi and then from transplant surgeon Dr. Richard Freeman, chair of the Department of Surgery at Dartmouth Medical School.

Dick Teresi's new book is called "The Undead." He's also co-author of "The God Particle" and the author of "Lost Discoveries: The Ancient Roots of Modern Science." He's a former editor-in-chief of Science Digest, Longevity and Omni.
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FREEMAN: To - well, again, these people frequently are traumatic brain injuries, and they are there to be sure that the oxygen and the blood flow are as good as they can be in this situation, to maintain the organs in this person who is already dead. They do often administer medications to limit the muscle spasms that occur in these situations as reflexes.

So even though the upper brain and the primitive brain is not functioning, the spinal cord, in many cases, still functions. So reflexes, again, a reflex, the word means you don't need your brain to interfere in that process. A reflex happens without your brain being alive, essentially. But they still happen in this situation, and so the anesthesiologist administers medications to limit those reflexes not because the person's alive but because those reflexes interfere with our ability to remove the organs.
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Esther L

New Member
Hi Esther, and welcome.
I read the article...
While WorldTruth.tv is, in general, a terribly unreliable source, this particular article is basically a re-print from the
somewhat more reputable (well, on certain matters, anyway) ;) Wall Street Journal
http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052970204603004577269910906351598

Dr. Robert Truog is clearly not making any claim that dead people still feel pain...he only says that he didn't use the
'rock' metaphor...likely because it could be interpreted as insensitive to families...
Possibly telling, though: Truog does not seem
to distance himself from the implications (that dead = no pain) of the 'rock' quote.

Author Dick Tirisi
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/books/review/the-undead-by-dick-teresi.html?_r=0
writes about science stuff, but is not and has never been a doctor, so that can't be who you
mean, either.



ETA: As I was typing this long-winded response, deirdre basically cut to the chase:
that there doesn't seem to be any doctor making any such claim...

Thank you No Party, I had forgot to insert the dr's name, Dr. Robert Truog, is who I was referring to. But I was wondering if the article was legit in that some people can feel pain during the harvesting of their organs.
Whether this is unethical or illegal, won't affect the "dead" person but it will sure make their last minutes on earth a living hell. :-(
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Thank you No Party, I had forgot to insert the dr's name, Dr. Robert Truog, is who I was referring to. But I was wondering if the article was legit in that some people can feel pain during the harvesting of their organs.
Whether this is unethical or illegal, won't affect the "dead" person but it will sure make their last minutes on earth a living hell. :-(
read through all the links provided. (blue text)

Efft up's shows what procedures are required. and other links talk of brain dead vs pain. if the total brain is not functioning (as per law..the TOTAL brain) then there would not be an ability to feel pain. seems to be the consensus of what I've read researching your article. and Dr. Truog (in that article) says they don't feel pain.

if the authors 'evidence' is twitching, as you put it... see my response above yours. the twitching is not evidence of brain activity according to Drs.
 

Efftup

Senior Member.
Yes, I think we are a LONG way from the Monty Python "Live Organ Transplants" (I decided NOT to link the video).

I can't remember if this was the US or the UK I was rerading but there was definitely something about 2 doctors being required to declare brain death and NEITHER was allowed to be part of the organ tranplanting procedure (so you don;t get a dr hanging about for a liver going "yeah, he;s definitely dead"

I am sure the link I posted ALSO said they have to monitor them for 6 hours AFTER brain death declared to make sure there is nothing that would suggest it was a misdiagnosis.

It is sad, because it is certainly clear this type of malpractice is rare if ever happening but a scare story like this will put people off donating, and as such is as damaging to overall health as antivaxxers.
 

Whitebeard

Senior Member.
This is the standard UK procedure...
http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Organ-donation/Pages/Donationprocess.aspx

The donation process
Organs are only removed for transplantation after a person has died. Death is confirmed by doctors at consultant level who are entirely independent of the transplant team. The process for confirming death is exactly the same for people who donate organs as for those who don't.

If appropriate, brain stem death testing will be carried out to confirm the person is dead. Alternatively, a joint decision may be made by medical staff, nursing staff and the person's relatives that although brain stem death hasn't occurred, the prospect of survival is so low continuing with current treatment would not be helpful.

The Organ Donor Register will be checked by a specialist nurse for organ donation to see if the potential donor is on the register. If they are, the specialist nurse will speak to the family about the person's decision to be a donor.

If the family agrees to organ donation, the specialist nurse must ensure medical tests are carried out, such as blood group and tissue type matching. They'll also look at the donor's medical history and ask the family some questions about them. This will help confirm whether or not the organ donation can take place.
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