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Thread: Why brain dead means really dead

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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Quote Originally Posted by LaMidRighter View Post
    My understanding is that there is a margin of error between low activity and no activity, the graph could show flat line even though there is a very minimal impulse emitted from the brain. I'm not a medical professional but just going on things I have run across.
    What does it mean minimum impulse? Is a person alive only with minimum impulse? It is a tricky question I think.

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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.
    Unless you get a 2nd opinion and THEN brain dead is DEAD dead. How many EEG's can be wrong?

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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Quote Originally Posted by tiki View Post
    What does it mean minimum impulse? Is a person alive only with minimum impulse? It is a tricky question I think.
    Meaning there is some function in the brain but it's so miniscule that it would register as a flat line on monitoring equipment. So basically the brain may just need time to heal, kick start, etc. but taking them off the ventilator would be a death sentence. I don't blame a doctor for doing so after all testing though.
    Neither side in an argument can find the truth when both make an absolute claim on it.

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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Quote Originally Posted by LaMidRighter View Post
    Meaning there is some function in the brain but it's so miniscule that it would register as a flat line on monitoring equipment. So basically the brain may just need time to heal, kick start, etc. but taking them off the ventilator would be a death sentence. I don't blame a doctor for doing so after all testing though.
    Its possible to heal when it is so low? Truly I donno it.

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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Quote Originally Posted by tiki View Post
    Its possible to heal when it is so low? Truly I donno it.
    I've read articles claiming it's possible but not probable over the years, wish I were in the habit of saving stuff I come across.
    Neither side in an argument can find the truth when both make an absolute claim on it.

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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Superfly View Post
    Funny, Sméagol, I said the same thing to my husband. I feel so awful for these people - I do, but I told him that they just do not understand what it means to be brain dead. They don't get it, and someone needs to teach them. They can have a heartbeat but that doesn't mean they are "alive."

    My father died about 3 and a half years ago, and something similar happened to him with the blood clot. His legs were in a lot of pain, and my mother unknowingly massaged his legs to keep them from hurting. Apparently, according to the doctor, a clot broke loose and traveled up to his brain, and he had a massive stroke. His brain was without oxygen for 20 minutes, until the EMTs got there. He was already gone. He was breathing, but on a machine.
    I saw a documentary a man who had a car accident and was in a coma for 19 years and woke up. He's kind of "slow" but he can walk and talk and he lives. I think this is a PERSONAL decision and not for you or I or anyone else to say. The family will "pull the plug" when THEY are ready.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/man-awak...years-in-coma/

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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Quote Originally Posted by the_recruit View Post
    It's terribly sad to watch parents struggling to come to terms with the death of their child. The media, and all the consumers who are gobbling up that media coverage, needs to butt out and leave them to deal with their grief privately.

    Reminds me of the South Park episode from years ago satirizing the Terri Schaivo story. Kenny played the role of Terri - suffering an accident and falling into a vegetative state. In the midst of the much-publicized national debate over whether to pull the plug or not they find a missing page of his will that reads "If i'm ever in a vegetative state please for the love of God do not show me in that condition on national television".
    Exactly, and all of the people making comments and saying that the family is wrong, have more than likely NEVER been in this position and have absolutely NO understanding of how difficult a decision that is to make. It's not for a bunch of strangers to tell the family that they are wrong. That is disgusting IMO.

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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Quote Originally Posted by LaMidRighter View Post
    I've read articles claiming it's possible but not probable over the years, wish I were in the habit of saving stuff I come across.
    It's a shame, people might think you were making it up to win an argument. "Even the best machines available might be wrong so the dead person could still be alive" is a stretch too far.
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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisL View Post
    Exactly, and all of the people making comments and saying that the family is wrong, have more than likely NEVER been in this position and have absolutely NO understanding of how difficult a decision that is to make. It's not for a bunch of strangers to tell the family that they are wrong. That is disgusting IMO.
    It's a medical question that needs to be answered by doctors. The average person on the street is not qualified to make the call on whether someone is dead or not in non-obvious cases.

    If it were simply about respecting the wishes of the family I'd be all for leaving her on the ventilator for as long as they want but it isn't that simple. We don't have a limitless supply of doctors and nurses and equipment and hospital beds. What happens when a "legally declared dead" person is supported on equipment that a "legally still alive" needs to stay alive? What happens if all of a sudden every parent/husband/wife argues that their "legally declared dead" child/spouse be left on a ventilator? And what about cost? I'd bet her medical bills are running into millions of dollars at this point. Unless they're wealthy the parents are paying for it. Is it right to force others to swallow millions in costs in an ultimately futile exercise?
    Don't be a grammar nazi - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 1 #7

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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    EKG is heart. EEG is what you are thinking. I have been in the field 25 years or more, and have not seen a mistaken death diagnosis.
    Quote Originally Posted by LaMidRighter View Post
    It is very ethically complicated, however I've run across articles and other references of faulty reads on EKG machines, which would happen if there was very minimal brain activity that the machine wouldn't pick up. The little girl probably is dead unfortunately but I would always worry about finishing it during a faulty read. I think the family really should be the ones to make that decision, but am not opposed to medical professionals gently discussing the situation with them to get to the proper decision. From what I've seen in this case the family has endured some bullying about their decision to keep her on the ventilator which to me is unacceptable, they are grieving and should be treated with the utmost respect and care at this time.
    God Bless the Marine Corps.

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