Action Alert!

Another example of confusion in the terminology of ‘brain-death’

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Aug 03, 2017

The Mexico City archdiocese gives us the sad news that Father José Miguel Machorro, who was stabbed by an assailant on the altar after celebrating Mass in May, has died. May he rest in peace.

While I mourn the priest’s death, however, I can’t help noticing the awkward form of the archdiocesan announcement. He has been pronounced brain-dead, we are told, “so one has to wait for the heart to stop beating.”

If the archdiocese is still waiting for his heart to stop beating, why announce his death now? More to the point, if his heart is beating, why pronounce him dead?

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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