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Thread: Why brain dead means really dead

  1. #41
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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Smeagol View Post
    Here's a case of someone who did recover from being brain dead but as it turned out the original diagnosis was wrong and he was only in a coma, which is not the same thing.



    Doctors told his family he would never recover and asked them to consider donating his organs before his life-support machine was turned off. Instead, Stevenís father enlisted the help of private GP Julia Piper to check his son again as doctors at University Hospital in Coventry, West Midlands, agreed to let a neurologist re-examine him. Remarkably, he detected faint brain waves indicating Steven had a slim chance of recovery and medics decided to attempt to bring him out of his coma.

    'Miracle recovery' of teen declared brain dead by four doctors - Telegraph
    It seems as if he wasn't really declared brain dead. He was in a medically-induced coma, and drs said he wouldn't recover, so pull the plug. That indicates to me they thought he'd be a vegetable, not that he was totally brain dead. Mom got what everyone should get: a second opinion. The 2nd opinion differed.

    So there was no settled "brain dead" diagnosis in that case, as in this girl's case. There is no disagreement, it seems, among different doctors that she is brain dead. There's nothing there in the head except inactive gray matter, to put it crudely.

    I think the parents don't understand what "brain dead" is. They think if a machine keeps her heart pumping, that she must be alive. Her mother said as much. I saw this same thing after the O J trial, when jurors talked about the DNA and clearly didn't understand what it meant or that it was real evidence. DNA was new back then. Some people just don't understand some things. Plus, they should've been given more time than 2 weeks to let their daughter's condition sink in. It was all too sudden, I think. If the parents were paying the bill, though, that plug would've been pulled by now,IMO.

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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Quote Originally Posted by jmotivator View Post
    Well sure, but the problem is that the argument of "brain dead is really dead" doesn't account for bad diagnosis. The fact that the diagnosis could be wrong means that a brain dead diagnosis shouldn't be treated as really dead.

    Or in other words, brain dead isn't really dead because brain dead isn't even necessarily brain dead.
    You do what the mother in your article did: get a 2nd opinion. And a 3rd, if you want. As in the case of this young girl. There is a consensus among drs. that the girl's official diagnosis is "brain dead." Unlike in your article, where the young man was in a medically-induced coma from which the ONE DR. thought he would not be able to come back from. The 2nd dr disagreed, so they attempted to bring him back, which was successful (what kind of life he lives after suffering all that damage, I cannot say).

    If three drs tell you that you have cancer, are you going to deny it and forego treatment? Or are you going to be darn sure that you have cancer? After all, just like with brain death, there are tests and graphs to show you what you have.

    The parents of this girl have been in contact with several hospitals and doctors, who have reviewed the tests and records. All agree that the girl is brain dead, it seems.

    There is a point at which hoping against hope that the care providers are wrong is folly. One way to test it: Tell the parents they will be responsible for the bill. We'd find out quickly just how firmly they are convinced there's a miracle coming down the road. My guess is that they'd pull the plug so fast, there wouldn't be time to write a news story about it beforehand.

  3. #43
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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Smeagol View Post
    Here's a case of someone who did recover from being brain dead but as it turned out the original diagnosis was wrong and he was only in a coma, which is not the same thing.



    Doctors told his family he would never recover and asked them to consider donating his organs before his life-support machine was turned off. Instead, Stevenís father enlisted the help of private GP Julia Piper to check his son again as doctors at University Hospital in Coventry, West Midlands, agreed to let a neurologist re-examine him. Remarkably, he detected faint brain waves indicating Steven had a slim chance of recovery and medics decided to attempt to bring him out of his coma.

    'Miracle recovery' of teen declared brain dead by four doctors - Telegraph
    On the thread on this topic I posted links to numerous examples of people being declared brain dead that revived and even fully recovered. In each instance, that only happened because parents or relatives refused to let doctors "pull the plug."

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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Quote Originally Posted by JumpinJack View Post
    You do what the mother in your article did: get a 2nd opinion. And a 3rd, if you want. As in the case of this young girl. There is a consensus among drs. that the girl's official diagnosis is "brain dead." Unlike in your article, where the young man was in a medically-induced coma from which the ONE DR. thought he would not be able to come back from. The 2nd dr disagreed, so they attempted to bring him back, which was successful (what kind of life he lives after suffering all that damage, I cannot say).

    If three drs tell you that you have cancer, are you going to deny it and forego treatment? Or are you going to be darn sure that you have cancer? After all, just like with brain death, there are tests and graphs to show you what you have.

    The parents of this girl have been in contact with several hospitals and doctors, who have reviewed the tests and records. All agree that the girl is brain dead, it seems.

    There is a point at which hoping against hope that the care providers are wrong is folly. One way to test it: Tell the parents they will be responsible for the bill. We'd find out quickly just how firmly they are convinced there's a miracle coming down the road. My guess is that they'd pull the plug so fast, there wouldn't be time to write a news story about it beforehand.
    Just because $$ would have you pull the plug on your child as $$ is apparently the decisive factor to you, I doubt few parents would see it as a $$ question.

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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Quote Originally Posted by rocket88 View Post
    Update on this:

    Brain-dead Calif teen undergoes surgery



    Yeah, she's doing great except for the whole being brain dead thing...
    I wonder if they used anesthesia for surgery.

  6. #46
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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius46 View Post
    I saw a medical ethicist on CNN who was asked specifically about people who've recovered from brain death. His comment was that there has never been a single documented case of a brain dead person recovering. There have been cases of misdiagnoses as in the case you cite but none where someone who's brain has stopped functioning has recovered.

    Once the brain stops working the person ceases to exist. All that's left is a shell. The heart may beat and there may be some movement but the person is gone and won't ever come back. I don't fault the parents. What parent wouldn't hold out a miracle? The people advising them are another matter.
    It's for this reason we shouldn't be too quick to pull the plug. At the same time, keeping someone who is brain dead on life support is a waste of time and resources, but I understand the emotional part of this issue. The parents are going to be smacked by reality sometime in the future, but in the mean time, it's their decision, and not to be disrespected.
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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Quote Originally Posted by rocket88 View Post
    Update on this:

    Brain-dead Calif teen undergoes surgery



    Yeah, she's doing great except for the whole being brain dead thing...

    Poor choice of emoticons. What is funny about this story?

    Also, on the "Brain Dead is Really Dead" front:


    Hospital fined after "brain dead" woman that they were prepping for organ harvest wakes up
    Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he stops voting for the Free Fish party.

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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Quote Originally Posted by jmotivator View Post
    Poor choice of emoticons. What is funny about this story?

    Also, on the "Brain Dead is Really Dead" front:


    Hospital fined after "brain dead" woman that they were prepping for organ harvest wakes up
    I guess we should be unreasonably sceptical of all forms of death diagnoses then, rather than it being rare clinical error.


    10 People Who Came Back From The Dead - Listverse

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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Quote Originally Posted by JumpinJack View Post
    There is a point at which hoping against hope that the care providers are wrong is folly. One way to test it: Tell the parents they will be responsible for the bill. We'd find out quickly just how firmly they are convinced there's a miracle coming down the road. My guess is that they'd pull the plug so fast, there wouldn't be time to write a news story about it beforehand.
    There is medical consensus that Jahi McMath is brain-dead, and so this is a terribly sad situation.

    But I don't think you understand that for parents, it's not about the money; it's about doing what you have to do to fight for your child. Have you ever met or heard of a parent saying, "Yes, my child has leukemia, but we really can't afford treatment, so...."?

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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Quote Originally Posted by danarhea View Post
    It's for this reason we shouldn't be too quick to pull the plug. At the same time, keeping someone who is brain dead on life support is a waste of time and resources, but I understand the emotional part of this issue. The parents are going to be smacked by reality sometime in the future, but in the mean time, it's their decision, and not to be disrespected.
    This isn't really practical. If the patient is declared dead by more traditional methods - checking pulse, resps and reflexes - can the family still demand that the hospital ventilate the patient, support their cardiovascular system and continue feeding them indefinitely?

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