not quite dead yet

By Diogenes (articles - email) | 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.

Richard Cross holds a doctorate in psychology, who has taught at the university level, including at Franciscan University. He is currently an educational researcher and consultant in the field of psychology and related disciplines.
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