View Poll Results: Do you accept a patient pronounced "brain dead" as dead (legally and otherwise)

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    62 93.94%
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Thread: Do you believe brain death is death?

  1. #91
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    Re: Do you believe brain death is death?

    Quote Originally Posted by iguanaman View Post
    Twice huh? That is medical malpractice. Brain death is not a subjective thing. Either your EEG is flat line or not. Your friends father did not have a flat line EEG or he would not have woken up.
    I agree. He was an old alcoholic and indigent case in a small and financially broke hospital here. I suspect they decided his end was soon anyway and didn't want to spend more $$ on him.

    But that is still another issue. Literally hundreds of thousands of people die in hospital errors. Most country hospitals are seriously financially strapped. And organ harvesting (though wouldn't apply to him) is big and very profitable business.

    So there is the REAL question of whether to believe the doctor or hospital when they tell you a loved one is "brain dead." Maybe so. Or maybe just so damaged that it'd cost the hospital a fortune to address it. Or maybe the hospital/doctor botched something and wants the death to avoid a mega-million dollar lawsuit.

    At what point do you BELIEVE the person REALLY is irreversibly brain dead?

  2. #92
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    Re: Do you believe brain death is death?

    Quote Originally Posted by joko104 View Post
    If a brain-dead person revives, if the person later is attacked and killed would it "murder" or abuse of a corpse? If the revived person when on a killing spree, could the person still be prosecuted being that he is legally dead?
    you're trying to confuse an obvious mis-diagnosis for the actual medical condition

  3. #93
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    Re: Do you believe brain death is death?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    If you can't breath or keep your heart beating without mechanical assistance and there is no chance that situation will be rectified then you're dead.
    In a technical sense, someone in that condition is still “alive”. But if the mind is gone, and no realistic hope exists of it ever recovering, then such “life” is really rather pointless, and certainly not worth the cost involved in artificially sustaining it.
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    Re: Do you believe brain death is death?

    Quote Originally Posted by polgara View Post
    We were told that if he recovered, he would be blind, unable to walk or talk, or to help himself in any way. His brain damage was too extensive from having his skull crushed into the pavement by a huge 36 inch round limb that broke off a tree and flew like a javelin from a tree he was helping a neighbor cut down... a truly freak accident. The decision was made to pull the plug, since he was an multi-tropheyed athlete well known in this area for being one of the most talented baseball players ever to play the game here, and we felt he would never forgive us for not allowing him to go. They kept him on life support for a few days until the family could get here from Texas. This was a few years ago, just days from his 46th birthday, and he died within minutes of having life support removed. He was my son, and left behind a wife and a young daughter he adored, in addition to me and the rest of the family.

    Greetings, EdwinWillers.
    I need to make a correction on this post. My son was getting ready to celebrate his 26th birthday, not his 46th. Sorry, Wyley.

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    Re: Do you believe brain death is death?

    No person is considered brain dead by observing a beating heart, but in fact, a panel of experts in their field conduct numerous tests to determine cessation of brain function. So yeah, I trust science and the experts instead of emotions and guessing

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    Re: Do you believe brain death is death?

    Quote Originally Posted by joko104 View Post
    If a brain-dead person revives, if the person later is attacked and killed would it "murder" or abuse of a corpse? If the revived person when on a killing spree, could the person still be prosecuted being that he is legally dead?
    Brain dead people do not revive if they were diagnosed by appropriate standards.

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    Re: Do you believe brain death is death?

    Quote Originally Posted by joko104 View Post
    I agree. He was an old alcoholic and indigent case in a small and financially broke hospital here. I suspect they decided his end was soon anyway and didn't want to spend more $$ on him.

    But that is still another issue. Literally hundreds of thousands of people die in hospital errors. Most country hospitals are seriously financially strapped. And organ harvesting (though wouldn't apply to him) is big and very profitable business.

    So there is the REAL question of whether to believe the doctor or hospital when they tell you a loved one is "brain dead." Maybe so. Or maybe just so damaged that it'd cost the hospital a fortune to address it. Or maybe the hospital/doctor botched something and wants the death to avoid a mega-million dollar lawsuit.

    At what point do you BELIEVE the person REALLY is irreversibly brain dead?
    I am not sure what alcoholic indigent patient you are referring to.

    But pronouncing brain death (a group of tests and observations not a single observation)is one issue.

    Not aggressively treating a patient with multiple medical conditions (as is very common in advanced alcoholism) is another.

    Someone who is an advanced alcoholic may need a new liver to survive, but he would never qualify because he currently is still not compliant with medical advice.

    So palliative or simple supportive care would be appropriate.

    Again, I know not the specifics of the case you speak of.

  8. #98
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    Re: Do you believe brain death is death?

    Quote Originally Posted by year2late View Post
    A patient on a mechanical ventilator has a beating heart, but has been proclaimed "brain death" according to accepted US standards.

    Do you accept the patient as dead?
    Yes, I do, predicated upon our current level of technical sophistication.

  9. #99
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    Re: Do you believe brain death is death?

    Quote Originally Posted by joko104 View Post
    I agree. He was an old alcoholic and indigent case in a small and financially broke hospital here. I suspect they decided his end was soon anyway and didn't want to spend more $$ on him.

    But that is still another issue. Literally hundreds of thousands of people die in hospital errors. Most country hospitals are seriously financially strapped. And organ harvesting (though wouldn't apply to him) is big and very profitable business.

    So there is the REAL question of whether to believe the doctor or hospital when they tell you a loved one is "brain dead." Maybe so. Or maybe just so damaged that it'd cost the hospital a fortune to address it. Or maybe the hospital/doctor botched something and wants the death to avoid a mega-million dollar lawsuit.

    At what point do you BELIEVE the person REALLY is irreversibly brain dead?

    Brain death occurs when a person no longer has any activity in their brain stem and no potential for consciousness, even though a ventilator is keeping their heart beating and oxygen circulating through their blood. When "brain stem" function is permanently lost, the person will be confirmed dead.

    Confirmation of death

    In the past confirming death was straightforward – death occurs when the heart stops beating and a person is no longer breathing. In turn, the lack of oxygen as a result of no blood flow will quickly lead to the permanent loss of brain stem function.

    Now confirmation of death can be more complex as it is possible to keep the heart beating after the brain stem has permanently stopped functioning. This is as a result of keeping someone on a ventilator thereby allowing the body (and the heart) to be artificially oxygenated.

    But once the brain stem has permanently stopped functioning there is no way to reverse this and the heart will eventually stop beating even if a ventilator has been used.

    To save family and friends from unnecessary suffering, once there is clear evidence that brain death has occurred the ventilator is turned off.

    The brain stem

    The brain stem is the lower part of the brain that is connected to the spinal cord (a column of nervous tissue located in the spinal column). The brain stem is responsible for regulating most of the automatic functions of the body that are essential for life. These are:

    * breathing
    * heartbeat
    * blood pressure
    * swallowing

    The brain stem also relays all information to and from the brain to the rest of the body, so it plays a fundamental role in the brain’s core functions, such as consciousness, awareness and movement. There is no possibility for consciousness once brain death has occurred and in combination with inability to breathe or maintain bodily functions this constitutes death of the individual.

    Brain death can occur when the blood and oxygen supply to the brain is stopped. This can be caused by:

    * cardiac arrest – this is when the heart stops beating and the brain is starved of oxygen
    * heart attack – a serious medical emergency that occurs when the blood supply to the heart is suddenly blocked
    * stroke – a serious medical emergency that occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted
    * blood clot – a blockage in one of your blood vessels that disturbs or blocks the flow of blood around your body

    Brain death can also occur as a result of:

    * a severe head injury
    * infections, such as encephalitis (a viral infection of the brain)
    * a brain tumor (a growth of cells multiplying in an abnormal, uncontrollable way in the brain)
    * Persistent vegetative state

    There is a difference between brain death and a persistent vegetative state (PVS), which can occur after extensive damage to the brain.

    Someone in a PVS can show signs of wakefulness (they may open their eyes, for example) but have no response to their surroundings. In rare cases, some patients may demonstrate some sense of response that can be detected using a brain scan, but not be able to interact with their surroundings. However, the important difference between PVS and brain death is that a patient with PVS still has a functioning brain stem, therefore:

    * Some form of consciousness may exist in someone in a PVS.
    * A person in a PVS can still breathe unaided.
    * A person in a PVS has a slim chance of recovering because the core functions of the brain stem are often unaffected, whereas a person with brain death has no chance of recovery as the body cannot survive without artificial support.
    ~~~~~ Brain death - NHS Choices[/QUOTE]

  10. #100
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    Re: Do you believe brain death is death?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    If you can't breath or keep your heart beating without mechanical assistance and there is no chance that situation will be rectified then you're dead.
    This is true, but you have added to the definition of brain dead. All of that can still be true and the patient turns out to not actually be brain dead.
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