The truth about organ donation – let your ‘brain death’ child heal
I chose not to be a donor in high school. I did not have any particular reasons why not, it was more a feeling that something was wrong about it. A couple of months ago my feeling was confirmed: there is something really off about organ donation.
- Yess, unless…
- Kinds under the age of 12
- What is an organ donor?
- Your kid is declared Brain Death
- What is Brain Death?
- Conversation with my friend
- What is the apnea test?
- The preperation and procedure of an organ donor
- The organ donor is allowed to die
- Can you recover from brain death?
- Shocking stories about organ donation
- Do doctors get paid for organ donations?
- Your kid, your decision
- Sources and more evidence
I do not know how it is in all other countries, but in Holland it works currently like this: If you do not register yourself as a donor for organs, you are automatically not a donor.
At this moment the D66 are trying to get a new law through the Senate/first chamber. Meaning that if it goes through you will be automatically a donor if you do not register that you don’t want to be a donor.
There are still debating and talking, going back and forth. In the meantime I am updated this article about organ donations. Do you say YESS to organ donation? Unless….
Kids under the age of 12
At this particular point I am mostly concerned about children under 12, because they cannot register themselves as a non-donor, with many affects for you as a parent.
In the united states you cannot register before the age of 18, which makes the time that you have to decide for your kid even longer. In my eyes it makes it even more important to ask yourself this:
Do you know what you are saying yes to?
What is an organ donor?
Before I go on I want to make clear to you what kind of organ-donors there are:
1. Organ-donors are people who have severe brain trauma and are hospitalised. Because of their brain injury they have to be ventilated and are in deep coma.
2. Organ-donors are people who dead in the hospital of a heart attack.
3. Organ-donors can also be people who actually died in the hospital and after their death only wanted to donate their liver, kidneys, pancreas, or lungs.
Even though this last group raises some questions in my head too, I will focus on the first group in this blog post. So from now one I am solely talking about organ-donors who have severe brain injury and are in deep coma.
I will also write particularly to raise awareness for children that can not legally register themselves as a donor or non-donor. This age differs, depending on the country you are living in.
Your kid is declared Brain Death
So imagine yourself standing at the hospital bed of your son or daughter. He or she just had a very bad accident, with severe brain injury and is in deep coma. You are very shocked, even more because the doctors tell you that he will be like this for the rest of his live after doing several tests.
Your child is just declared brain death. So they ask you, while you are still in shock, if you consider giving him up for organ donation.
Knowing what I know now, I would say no, without hesitation. What would you choose after reading the following?
What is Brain Death?
If your child is declared brain death it means your child is dead on paper, but is not actually dead. Even harder to read will be this:
Organs must be taken out of a living body, because the organs will be so damaged due to the shortage of oxygen that they will be useless for transplantation. Brain death is just a term that doctors came up with to legalise organ donations. I would not want to believe this, but I know I now it is true.
If you think about it, it is perfectly logical that organs have to be harvested out of a living body. You just have to connect the dots: if you reanimate someone you can only do it for so long. After 6 minutes it is done. Then someone is officially death.
History of organ donation
The first time doctors where trying with organ transplantation was after the second world war. Organs were taken out of dead bodies and placed into the new owners.
Soon they discovered that the quality of the organs decreased after the donor stopped breathing. In order to have a successful transplantation the organs needed to be vital and supplied with blood that is rich in oxygen.
The first successful transplantation was in South-Africa in 1976. A living heart was successfully transplanted to another human being. So, the dilemma was born. Doctors needed living organs in order to have a successful transplantation.
In 1968 doctors decided to get together in Havard (USA) to find a solution for this occurring problem. It was found in patients who were in deep coma. They rewrote death with the term brain death. The actual definition of death itself changed because of that. Nowadays they use the definition: if someone is brain death, he is death….
And that’s the tricky thing: Because according to doctors, a brain death declared person should not be compared with a deep coma patient. But that’s the thing: A person who is declared brain death IS a coma patient. That person is still alive, but is unable to respond because of severe brain damage.
The ‘funny’ thing is that on official websites they write down that the transplantation happens AFTER death. Which is just bullshit. Because if the person is truly death, they could not harvest the organs.
Dr. Paul Bryne explains in more detail why that is true.
Conversation with my friend.
I talked about this subject to a friend of mine. She is currently in the second year of med school and when I told her about this she said: ‘Well, yes of course the donor needs to be alive. The organs are useless after just a few minutes due to the low levels of oxygen .’
I mean, HELLO, the doctors learn this in their second year? Like I said before, if you think about it logically the donor just has to be alive.
What is the apnoea test?
Before your loved one can actually be declared Brain Death, some tests need to be done. Most people don’t know this. The apnea test is part of this brain death protocol. This protocol differs per country and has been changed a lot. In Holland for example they are still doing EEG’s (= electroencefalography and means that they test for brain activity) , but in England and Portugal they don’t do that anymore: weird, huh?
The strange fact is that a lot of the time they first ask you if you want to give permission to donate organs and then they test if the person is actually brain death…
Now a little more about the apnea test itself. It is a medical test to see if a person who has been on a respirator will show spontaneous breathing activity. The patient is not allowed to be under the influence of drugs. Also his or her temperature should be normal and the patient is not allowed to have other conditions that can go over spontaneously.
The procedure is strict and under certain circumstances. What they don’t tell you; is that it’s is life threatening to the patient and actually makes your loved one even more compatible for organ donation.
Here are some examples of what happens because of the apnoa test:
- Coma patients get a dangerous low blood pressure; because of this a non-treatable cardiac arrest can occur. Even if the patient gets a high dose of oxygen afterwards.
- The lungs of the patient cannot respond to the forced respiratory arrest. This is due to the inhibitory effect of the lower blood flow towards the brain.
- Also; the apnoea test makes low blood pressure worse as well as the low blood supply to the brain.
- The apnoea test can even damage the hypothalamus more.
- Another tricky things is that a lot of doctors believe that the apnoea test will be harmless if you give high oxygen levels before testing. The goal is to heighten the carbon dioxide levels in the blood so the body will start breathing again. But those levels are not influenced by the oxygen levels… Which can cause the blood flow to the brain to stop.
The worst thing about this is maybe that family members and friends are not told what this test actually does.
Dr. Yoshio Watanabe (Cardiologist Nagoya –Japan) even claims that a patient who did not get the apnoea test has 60% more change to survive and recover from brain damage.
I hope so that you will never get into this situation, but never allow the doctors to go through with this test. It is not just inhuman, also illogical to do this test. Even a normal, healthy person would have a hard time not breathing for 5 to 10 minutes. And then you are going to test this out on IC patients?
The preperation and procedure of organ donation
So, your child will still be alive if he or she is declared brain death. It just means your child is death on paper. The heart is beating, they are breathing, with help of a machine maybe, but they are alive. Even more important to say. Most of the time they can hear everything, they can feel everything. They can still think and they are aware of what is going on, but they cannot react to it, because they have a brain injury.
Before the actual operation the body will be prepared. They keep the blood circulation going with blood that is rich in oxygen, even the brain. In fact they are doing everything they can to keep the patient alive; so the organs stay in the best condition.
Doctors also do some blood and tissue test to be sure that donor and receiver match. Before the actual operation starts there are some other procedures to be done:
- The organs will be cleaned with a specific liquid so all spores of infections and medicines will be gone.
- The give the donor blood thinners, so the blood doesn’t clot.
- They also administer a substance to widen the blood vessels; this makes it easier for the transplantation.
- And also organs who are not taken out yet will be cooled, either with ice or with a special type of liquid.
Remember: the organ donor can still feel, but not respond. The donor just gets a medicine to weaken the muscles; no anaesthesia or pain relief. This means that if you would say yes to this nice person who is asking you if you want to donate organs (those are trained people, knowing exactly what to do, mostly putting pressure on you) your child would feel everything, every cut.
Depending on how many organs can be harvested the operation takes 3 to 6 hours, so the last hours of your kids life he or she will go through pain and horror, but cannot say or do anything. This is torture, even criminals have a peace fuller death than this….
“An organ-donor who is declared brain death actually dies when the vital organs are removed.”
There is a lot of evidence to support this statement, I am translating and repeating a list of a dutch article, written by Ger Lodewick, author of the book; ‘Wat je over orgaandonatie zou moeten weten.’ (What you should know about organ donation)
- Body temperature is normal;
- The heart is beating and keeps the blood flowing;
- The blood circulation works perfectly;
- Body cells keep duplicating;
- The body is still digesting and processing food, resulting in urine and faeces;
- Pregnant woman can still deliver a healthy, living baby after three months (27 causes known)
- When a doctor starts the operation; the pulse and blood pressure goes up significant;
- Patients make defending movements and sometimes even get up a little;
- That is the reason that patients will be bound to the operation table or be given the medicines to weaken the muscles.
This is clear evidence that a donor is not dead, but alive.
The donor is allowed to die
After the entire procedure, the donor is finally allowed to die.
There are several cases where the death ones would show a lot of pain on their faces. Some doctors say that this is normal. Other doctors say that those expressions are from living people, not death ones.
I said it before and say it again, these people don’t deserve to die that way. Not in so much pain and torture for at least three hours. That’s just horrible.
Can you recover from brain death?
There are a lot of people who have been declared brain death, currently leading a normal life. Yes you are reading it right, they healed and fully recovered. This is also a fact, those people are the evidence that brain death is not irreversible. Here are some comments on a website to read, if you are interested.
If a situation like this might ever happen to you, please give your child the time to heal. Do not go with the doctors, telling you that you can pass on the life of your kid. It is the life of YOUR child and he or she is not dead!
I could wait a month, a year, even 10 years, but if that gives me my child back, I would wait.No doubt about it.
Survivors of the brain death diagnosis
Out of my other source I selected some stories about survivals.
Iris wrote on the internet, about her little sister. She was in a deep coma. The vultures (her words) came four to five times to ask if they decided yet to give her up for organ donation. They were impatiently waiting to harvest her organs. However, her little sister fully recovered and is healthy and well.
The most famous man who ‘survived’ brain death is Jan Kerkhoffs. In 1992 he was declared brain death after a complicated brain surgery. The doctors asked the family if they wanted to give him up for organ donation. His family refused and just a week later Jan woke up. He was paralysed, but fully recovered after intense physical therapy. He also said that even though he was in deep come he could hear everything and he felt the pain when they were doing his nails. (personal comments: why would they do his nails? I am sorry this should not be funny, but I just think it’s weird.) He just could not tell them or make it clear to them. Jan died in august 2016.
A 17 year old boy, Steven Thorpe (2008 – Warwickshire)was sitting in a car hitting a runaway horse. One of his friends died during the accident. Doctors where doing everything to reduce the swelling in his head, but concluded that his situation was hopeless, Steven was declared brain death. The question if his parents wanted to give him up for organ donation was asked, but they said no. They asked for further inquiry by a Genral Practicor and a neurologist. They concluded a little bit of brain activity and woke him up out of the artificial coma. Two weeks later Steven woke up again.
Shocking stories about organ donation
It’s not that the doctors are stupid, they just focus on showing one side of the story: the receiver of the organs. But what about the donor? Well, now you know.
I think that we as human beings have the right to know what we say YES to. I know for myself that I would never want to be an organ donor, nor do I want to receive any organs. I could not bare living and knowing that someone else died for me in the most vulnerable moment of her or his life.
Here are some shocking stories about organ donations:
The lab worker
A laboratory worker got to know that a acquaintance was brought in unconsciously. At that moment she was not with him, but she decided to make a CT scan a few days later; no abnormalities where seen. Because she knew the patient for a while she tried to make contact with him. He only could react to here very basic, but he recognised here voice and it was clear that he was there. The lab worker was certain that there was a reaction going on, which she told the neurologist.
A few days later she was talking to the wife of the patient; asking here how it was going. She, the wife, told the lab worker that the neurologist had seen abnormalities on the CT-scan and that it was better to stop treatment. The guy would be a green-house plant forever, according to the neurologist.
The lab assistant wanted to stay that this was untrue, and that everything was normal, but the patient was already dead….
In some hospitals in Holland the donors get anaesthetics during the operation to take out organs. This is pretty weird if you consider that doctors say that brain death people can’t feel anything anymore. The writer of my biggest source (Zwartboek) asked a nurse why they gave the donors anaesthetics. The nurse answered:
The anaesthetic prevents the release of stress hormones.
Huh, stress hormones? How can a death body react with stress? And why, if the person doesn’t feel anything…..
Constant blood pressure
Christian was 15 years old when he was a victim of a car crash on 4 February 1985. Christian was quickly transported to the nearest hospital where they could not help him. Then he was moved to a more advanced medical hospital.
The parents where convinced that the doctors who where waiting to save him, they were actually doctors to transplant organs. They tried to keep him alive so his organs would stay in the most optimal condition to save the life of others.
The parents only got concise information, not knowing what organ donation actually means. They gave permission to take out the organs when the doctors told Christians parents that his son died. He was already reanimated two times.
“He was clean now”, is what the doctors said. Clean? For what? Renate, his mom, insisted to see his son before the funeral. Because of her persistence they opened the already closed coffin, and she was not ready for what she saw next.
Her son looked like s slaughtered animal (gees). His hands and arms where full with cannula’s and needles. On his face was the expression of pain. Renate had a lot of questions and could not find any answers.
Even though Christian was ‘dead’, doctors still treated him on the IC. He got a drip, he was on the respirator. He also had a catheter in his bladder, slowly filling. Later this was a bucket.
Accompanied by a group of journalist Renate visited the Kings Collage in England, where professor Evans (David Wainwright Evans) was currently teaching.
Dr. Evans left the Pepswoth Hospital in 1989 because he no longer wanted to assist with removing hearts out of living humans. Dr Evans and Dr. Hill were prepared to give the German journalists a interview. They brought Christians file, because the liver was transplanted in the Addinbrooke Hospital.
Dr. Hill was just looking at the dossier and stops at the protocol of the anaesthetic. Unknowing that the mother of the ‘patient’ was in the room he said:
“He wasn’t even brain death. His blood pressure is much too constant”
Do doctors get paid for organ donations?
Of course they will not admit it, but doctors do get paid for organ donations.
There is an interesting article (in dutch) about the fact that doctors do get a fee for tissue donors; weird huh? How much exactly is not know.
For organ donations a doctor gets paid a fee of 876 euros, if he asks for and support the family with the organ donation. That would be almost 1000 dollars. This is under the condition that the organ donation is actually possible.
With tissue donation it is even better for the doctor. Even if afterwards the tissue is not acceptable for donation the doctor will still get paid.
Here is an interesting story about the pressure that doctors have to harvest organs.
According to Patrick McMahon, a nurse, transplant coordinator and veteran one out of five organ donors is still alive. (Personal comment: every donor is alive) He states that doctors need to reach a certain quota. They got a lot of pressure to declare coma-patients brain dead, who where not actually brain dead. Also to convince families to give permission for organ donation.
He filed a law suit in Manhattan: He is certain that a lot of donors show enough brain activity to give them a change to recover. During his period of service in Irak, Afghanistan and during the Dessert Storm he saw patients with a lot more sever brain injuries than he sees in Manhattan/Western countries.
According to McMahon doctors, especially in the USA are rewarded for organ donations. A example out of his file is about a victim of a car-crash who fought to breathe. Doctors declared the patient brain death so they could harvest the organs. The transplantation company denied everything, the case was closed.
Your kid, your decision
The hard thing is, that you have to make a decision for your kid in a critical situation. I really do hope that you choose to give your kid the time to heal.
At least you have a little more information about what organ donation means, and you don’t have to rely on the minimal information that the hospital tells you. So you can make a real conscious choice.
And if you belief, that for whatever reason, you child will live in agony and never recover, which I highly doubt… Then please ask for anaesthetics. At least your kid won’t feel the pain and die a little more peaceful.
If you had a hard time reading about this, give it a few days or weeks and read it again, or do some research yourself. You will see that the facts are not adding up and that organ donation is not what the doctors want you to believe it is: a change to do a last good thing on this world by donating your organs and giving back a life.
If you have anything to share on this subject go on and write me a comment.
Sources and more evidence
- Zwartboek (dutch) written by Annet wood: http://www.annetwood.nl/brief-aan-de-ministerraad#_ftn20
- Artikel about payments (dutch): https://www.medischcontact.nl/nieuws/laatste-nieuws/artikel/Aanmelden-weefseldonoren-wordt-vergoed.htm
- Dutch video with Ger Lodewick: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTrsrgHpSLM
- For more evidence: interesting conversation with Dr. Paul Byrne: https://www.davidicke.com/article/399746/richie-allen-show-davidicke-com-us-doctors-astonishing-claim-patients-murdered-hospitals-organs