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not quite dead yet

By Diogenes (bio - articles ) | Jun 12, 2006

Brain-dead woman gives birth, then dies

OK, so maybe the headline writer wasn't thinking too clearly. But wait; that headline matches the lead of the AP story:

ROME - A brain-dead woman kept alive artificially for more than two months gave birth to a premature baby girl, doctors at Milan's Niguard hospital said.

If this unfortunate woman died after her baby was born, then she wasn't dead before the birth. Yet she had been declared "brain dead."

Back in 2001, Catholic World Report published a very controversial article by several doctors and theologians, questioning whether the harvesting of unpaired organs from "brain dead" donors can ever be morally justifiable, since the process causes the death of the donor. More recently the same arguments were aired before the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, in a statement simply entitled, "Brain Death Is Not Death!" Reports like this one from Milan are making it increasingly difficult to argue that point.

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Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Jun. 15, 2006 7:27 PM ET USA

    Weren't there similar headlines in the Susan Torres case a year ago?

  • Posted by: - Jun. 12, 2006 5:21 PM ET USA

    Brain dead people are not dead, they are alive. Here's a quote from our priest about so-called "brain death". "Now we can see clearly that this is just another lie, from the person standing behind this culture of death, another lie from the one who was a liar and a murderer from the beginning, another lie which is killing our brothers and sisters.... " Read his whole conference at:

  • Posted by: benedictusoblatus - Jun. 12, 2006 5:00 PM ET USA

    Any moron can reach for the wrist of a "brain dead" patient and, feeling a pulse, conlude that the person is not dead. "Brain death" is a fiction just this side of "mercy killing." Persons declared to be brain dead are then wisked away to the operating room where their living organs are "harvested" and sent to all corners of the nation for implantation in other sick, but living, people. I, for one, would rather die than cooperate in the premature murder of someone in order to get their heart.

  • Posted by: parochus - Jun. 12, 2006 4:04 PM ET USA

    The veiled Monty Python reference is offsetting.

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