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Vatican Radio examines question of ‘brain death’

Catholic World News - May 09, 2012

The recovery of Steven Thorpe--a young British man who recovered after four doctors declared him “brain dead”--has prompted Vatican Radio to examine the topic of brain death.

“Cases like Thorpe’s have raised questions on the morality of harvesting organs from people who have been declared brain dead,” Vatican Radio reported.

“Most [organ] donation after death in the whole of the Western world happens when the heart is still beating, the so-called beating heart cadavers, so it is very important for people that this body that doesn’t look like a typical dead body, to be sure it really is dead,” Dr. David Albert Jones, the director of the UK-based Anscombe Bioethics Centre, told Vatican Radio.

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  • Posted by: rpp - May. 09, 2012 7:50 PM ET USA

    This very issue is why I have rescinded my organ donor status. Thorpe's recovery is not the first, however, it may well be the last.

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