Saturday, May 17, 2014

Thinking He Was Brain Dead Family Was Set to Give Away His Organs, Then He Held Up Two Fingers

Thinking He Was Brain Dead Family Was Set to Give Away His Organs, Then He Held Up Two Fingers


IHM said...

Father, I was shocked to see organ transplantation given a pass in this article. It is my understanding that "brain death" is a legal fiction invented to enable a surgical procedure which kills a living person (evil) in order to improve the quality of life of another person (a good supposed to come but many who receive transplants live miserably afterward).

I repect your work and the work of Life Site so this post is unsettling, to say the least.

thank you!

Fr. Edward J. Richard said...

Yes, I winced a bit at the phrase in the article that seemed, without hesitation, to approve of organ donation while not immediately pointing out the dangers. Overall, however, the article does raise some caution.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches: Organ transplants are in conformity with the moral law if the physical and psychological dangers and risks to the donor are proportionate to the good sought for the recipient. Organ donation after death is a noble and meritorious act and is to be encouraged as a expression of generous solidarity. It is not morally acceptable if the donor or his proxy has not given explicit consent. Moreover, it is not morally admissible to bring about the disabling mutilation or death of a human being, even in order to delay the death of other persons. 2296

Morality requires that the donor of unpaired vital organs be, in fact, dead. Death must be ascertained with moral certainty. According to the teaching of St. John Paul II, the neurological criteria for determining death (brain death) can lead to that moral certainty. The problem is that many institutions do not follow the dead donor rule and loosely define death on the basis of a judgment about the quality of the person's life. In fact, I believe that death prior to organ donation is, today, the exception rather than the rule. I would caution against organ donation because the moral requirement of the death of donor is not being rigorously observed.

IHM said...

Huge sigh of relief!