LEICESTER, England, April 25, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - According to the Daily Mail newspaper,
a young British man owes his life to an insistent father who would not
allow his son’s organs to be removed from his body, despite assurances
from four doctors that his son could not recover from the wounds he had
suffered in a recent car accident.
The Mail reports that Stephen Thorpe, then 17, was placed in a
medically-induced coma following a multi-car pileup that had already
taken the life of his friend Matthew, who was driving the vehicle.
a team of four physicians insisted that his son was “brain-dead”
following the wreck, Thorpe’s father enlisted the help of a general
practitioner and a neurologist, who demonstrated that his son still had
brain wave activity. The doctors agreed to bring him out of the coma,
and five weeks later Thorpe left the hospital, having almost completely
Today, the 21-year-old with “brain damage” is studying accounting at a
local university. “‘My impression is maybe the hospital weren’t very
happy that my father wanted a second opinion,” he told the Mail.
The case is similar to dozens of others LifeSiteNews has reported in
recent years, in which comatose or otherwise unconscious patients are
declared to be “brain dead,” or hopelessly incurable. In many cases,
aggressive doctors seek the organs of the patient for harvesting.
In 2011, the Quebec Hospital Sainte Croix de Drummondville sought permission
to extract the eyes of a patient who had choked on hospital food in the
absence of a nurse, claiming she was “brain dead.” After the family
demanded proof from physicians of her alleged condition, she regained
consciousness, and recovered most of her faculties. The family declared
its intention to sue the hospital.
In 2008, a 45-year-old Frenchman revived on the operating table
as doctors prepared to “harvest” his organs for donation, following
cardiac arrest. In the subsequent investigation by the hospital’s ethics
committee, a number of doctors admitted that such cases, while rare,
were well known to them.
That same year, a “brain dead” 21-year-old American, Zack Dunlap, was about to have his organs harvested
when his two sisters, both nurses, decided to test the hospital’s
theory that his brain was no longer functioning. Family members poked
his feet with a knife and dug their fingernails under his nails,
provoking strong reactions by Dunlap and proving he was conscious. He
recovered completely. He later related that he was conscious and aware
as doctors discussed harvesting his organs in his presence.
The term “brain death” was invented in 1968 to accommodate the need to acquire vital organs in their “freshest” state from a donor who some argue is still very much alive.
While death had previously been defined as lack of respiration and
heart activity, “brain death” was judged as compatible with an otherwise
living patient. “Brain death” has never been rigorously defined, and
there are no standardized tests to determine if the condition exists.
Dr. John Shea, a medical advisor to LifeSiteNews.com, points out that
patients diagnosed as “brain dead” often continue to exhibit brain
In “Organ Donation: The Inconvenient Truth”,
Shea states that the criteria for “brain death” only “test for the
absence of some specific brain reflexes. Functions of the brain that are
not considered are temperature control, blood pressure, cardiac rate
and salt and water balance. When a patient is declared brain dead, these
functions are not only still present, but also frequently active.”
A list of articles by LifeSiteNews on comotose and “brain dead” patients who unexpectedly recovered follows:
* Brain dead’ woman recovers after husband refuses to withdraw life support
* Woman Diagnosed as “Brain Dead” Walks and Talks after Awakening
* ‘Brain dead’ Quebec woman wakes up after family refuses organ donation
* Doctor Says about “Brain Dead” Man Saved from Organ Harvesting - “Brain Death is Never Really Death”
* Doctors Who Almost Dissected Living Patient Confess Ignorance about Actual Moment of Death
* New study questions “brain-death” criterion for organ donation
* Coma Recovery After 19 Years Poses Questions About Terri Schiavo
* Polish Man Wakes from 19-Year “Coma”, Talks and Expected to Walk Soon
* Man Wakes from Two-Year Coma – was Aware and Remembers Everything
* Boy in “Hopeless” Vegetative State Awakens and Steadily Improves
* Commentary: The Significance of that Case of the Man Trapped in a “Coma” for 23 Years
* Girl Once Comatose and Scheduled for Euthanasia Will Testify against Attacker
* ‘Comatose’ UK Man Chooses Life by Moving Eyes
* Woman’s Waking After Brain Death Raises Many Questions About Organ Donation
* Russian Surgeons Removing Organs Saying Patients Almost Dead Anyway
* Denver Coroner Rules “Homicide” in Organ-Donor Case
The boy who came back from the dead: Experts said car crash teen was beyond hope. His parents disagreed