Are you sure you want to be an organ donor? Since my daughter’s care at the hospital, I began to ask some questions and this is what I found out. I will back up, to tell you what led me to this discovery. My daughter Melissa was hit by a car as she was crossing the street. She suffered from acute brain trauma. A miracle happened moments after the accident. The miracle was an ambulance just happened to pass by within minutes of the accident. My daughter was given care immediately. She arrived at the hospital within 18 minutes. Later I found out that treatment, such as Mannitol and hypothermia therapy for acute brain trauma could have been given by the EMTs. She should have been carried to a level 1 trauma center because of her multiple traumatic injuries, vitals, and the GCS score. But the medical director of the Medical Center of the Rockies did not advise the EMTs to give my daughter
mannitol or hypothermia therapy.
They did not call for the neurosurgeon until 23:33, almost one hour after my daughter’s accident, nor
did they transfer her to a level 1 facility that had the expertise to take care of her multiple traumatic injuries.
Instead, my daughter was taken to Medical Center of the Rockies. She was evaluated and a CT scan was done. But what I have learned is there is a golden hour of opportunity to stop the intracranial brain pressure from rising. There are many aggressive treatments that can be done for acute brain trauma. Surgery is what my daughter needed immediately. She got mannitol and her ICP came down from 80 to 25. Then the doctor made the decision not to do advanced care. He said, “she her a poor prognosis and poor outcome” So my daughter, who was breathing and had a weak cough, all signs of brain stem function, was allowed to lie there in pain with no treatment except supportive care while they waited to harvest her organs.
We were asked within two hours for her organs over the phone. I must say this is our word against the doctor's. He denies this now. But they can’t deny what is on the medical report. It said our daughter was coughing up until 3:00 a.m. and that the ongoing plan was to harvest her organs. The doctors and hospital had an option. They could have operated on my daughter and hoped for a miracle, or call it quits, and let my daughter’s life benefit the federal government in passing out her organs to the world. If there had not been an option, my daughter would have gotten medical care because the doctor and hospital need to make money despite the futility of their efforts.
This was the first heartbreaking thing that I found out: A doctor and hospital can withhold care from you if they think it is futile. This is a contradiction to all the care that cancer patients get. I guess it is where the money is that deems whether you are given care, not whether your case is futile or not.
The whole reason for our suspicion of this hospital and doctors is the careless and aggressive way in which we were approached for our daughter’s organs. First, they called us within two hours, and over the phone. Second, moments after I arrived, and was standing by my daughter’s bed, it seemed as though they were shouting from the nursing center about the designation on my daughter’s license. It was thought at that time, that her Colorado license had a donor designation on it, but maybe not her Oklahoma. They had to make sure both complied with being a donor. So I was standing by my daughter, feeling pretty good, because my daughter looks amazing for just being hit by a car. All her limbs were intact, she were breathing, and I was told that all of her major organs were unharmed.
I was excited, because I thought there was a possibility that my daughter might make it. So I started talking to Melissa. I ask her to move her toe to let me know that she knew I was here. She moved the left baby toe and the one next to it. She did this four times when I asked her to. I know it was purposeful and a direct response to my asking her, because she did it four times when I asked her to. Every time they scraped the bottom of her feet she pulled them away. Yet they said, “This is insignificant. It is spinal.” My first thought was “Why do it, if it is insignificant?” Later, I read that my daughter “contracted her thigh muscle to toe nail bed pressure.” This is significant because the thigh muscle is a skeletal muscle and is only activated by the cortex of the brain. Other signs of life were that my daughter started her menstrual cycle, which is controlled by the hypothalamus part of the brain. My daughter kept her temperature constant; this is regulated by the brain. The beating of the heart is regulated by the brain. My daughter lifted her body off the bed three times. The nurse even said he thought my daughter breathed over the machine. The head nurse dismissed it and said, “It was probably the machine.” The ventilator does not function as the brain; it is just a machine that pushes air through the lungs. Everything else, like temperature, heartbeat and contractions are controlled by the brain. They said my daughter had doll‘s eyes, but it says on the medical report that it was not checked. I cannot remember them checking for the supra-orbital reflex. I do not remember them checking her hands for nail bed pressure or her chest, either.
After our stand that our daughter deserved first rights to her organs, they took us before an ethics committee. We invited a lawyer to sit in on this ethics committee meeting. The ethics committee ended by saying, we could keep our daughters organs, and they were now off the table. I never knew they were on the table, but the medical report says that there was an ongoing plan to donate her organs even before brain death was documented. In fact, brain death was not documented. They blame this on me, but the truth is they had ten hours before I arrived to do any test they wanted. But they did not do it.
Why? I believe they did not do it because my daughter was still coughing up until 3:00 a.m. This is a brain stem function. Brain death can only be declared when all brain stem function is absent. My daughter was alive when the decision to withhold care from her was made. This is equivalent to performing CPR on a drowning victim and in the middle you stop and say, “This is a poor prognosis and poor outcome. Let’s stop in the mist of resuscitation.”
When I was there, they could have done anything they wanted. I was just the mother, watching. Really, the nurses were taking care of my daughter. It says on the medical report that doctors were talking to us, but this is not true. Most of our communication was with the nurses. Later, we spoke with three doctors, and with the doctor, I had to beg blood in exchange for an EEG. Can you believe this? I, a mother, had to barter for blood products in a hospital. When the organs were taken off the table, I thought everything was going to be okay. Later, after reviewing the medical records, I realized that my daughter only got supportive care while they were waiting for her to die. At that time, I did not know she was not getting food. If you do not get food, you will die, especially when you are weak, in trauma and shock. One treatment for brain trauma is nutrition; it needs to be started within 24 hours. My daughter was anemic, the doctor reports, “It is probably due to a loss of blood.” But blood products were not given to relieve the anemia. The medical doctors knew that my daughter was going to have cardiac failure. But they did not try to prevent this from happening by implanting a defrillbilator in her to keep her heart beating. My daughter died because she did not get care because the doctors deemed her futile, and brain dead without documentation. My daughter was never brain dead. She showed the doctors many times that she was alive, by coughing, withdrawing her legs, contracting her thigh, and lifting her body off the bed.
Now this is what I have found out about organ donation, and the donor operation. First, I found out there are critics of brain death diagnosis and organ donation. These critics believe that brain death was concocted for one reason: to obtain profuse organs. Organs have to be oxygenated for a successful transplant. You can only get these organs from live patients. The ad hoc committee had to think really hard. Where can we get oxygenated organs? We have to get them from people who look dead, who can’t communicate with the outside world whether they are alive or not. So this was their plan to take organs from a suffering humanity. The only problem is that these organs are being taken from brain alive patients.
I have read that the donor operation goes like this. The patient is wheeled to the operating room. He is hooked up to a ventilator, he is breathing, his heart is beating, and his blood his flowing. Transplant teams from all over the world are there. Each team is there for their piece of the donor. Some are there for thoracic cavity, others are there for the abdominal region, and the others are there for leftovers. And the poor nurses are there to watch in horror and for the clean-up. Now that everyone is there, the donor’s hands are tucked under his side, to provide a better opening for the thoracic cavity and the abdominal region. The anesthesiologist is there to make sure the “rule of 100s” is being managed. He is not there to provide anesthesia. Anesthesia is not given, so the brain dead donor could be conscious when this surgery takes place. It is said that a neuro (brain)muscular blocking agent is given to keep the brain from transmitting to the tummy not to tighten up to the approaching knife. It is said that the blood pressure will rise from 100 to 220 as the knife is inserted into the thoracic cavity. The blood pressure is controlled by the brain. It is said that the donor will begin to move his limbs and may even do more complex moves like sit up. They say this is all spinal. But I say it is the adrenaline rush that we humans get when we face death. The adrenaline gland is a function of the brain. The donor’s body temperature will go down. This is regulated by the brain. The medical community explains all of these functions away. But these are clear functions of the brain. It is said they have to convince the novice nurses that after this display of life that this patient is really dead.
I am not a medical doctor or nurse, but I know what is living and what is dead. I do not have to be convinced. There is a propaganda machine that has been promoting this lie for over 32 years now. It has been adopted worldwide, even through all this controversy. This machine wants to force us all to be donors. The most prevalent is the presumed consent law. But I am going to challenge the designation to be a donor on the driver license as invalid for four reasons:
It is a contract, and a contract has to benefit both parties, but this contract benefits only one: the United States federal government. The organs of a donor can be sold for a million dollars.
Before signing a contract, you must be able to read the contract. The donor needs to know the surgery to donate his organs will be done on the basis of a brain death diagnosis, that he will not get anesthesia, that he might suffer a heart attack and that his organs might not even be used.
The official at the driver’s license bureau is not qualified to determine who is of a sound mind before signing this important document. The federal government is asking a minor to consent to a surgical operation without the permission of his parents. The presumed consent law will be challenged before the supreme court. It takes our freedom away to choose or give a gift. It is discrimination against the poor and uneducated. Only the rich who can afford to go to a lawyer to get living directive will be able to be excluded from being a donor. Only the educated and informed will be able to make a decision on the basis of informed knowledge.
More facts that I found out: The number one donor will be a 24 year old male, and will likely be uninsured. The government demands the hospital and doctor to notify the donor entity of a potential donor.
I think this should be challenged because it violates HIPPA. No one, not even the federal government, should be able to share your medical history without your permission.
With advancees in treatment for brain trauma, only 20 percent or less will die. So how does the government get organs? How can there be so many donors if 80 percnet will survive and recover with a good outcome? Who gets the money? Who are the recipients? Are they rich and just want to live longer? Most recipients are over the age of 50, the majority over 60.
So the government gets the organs free, sells them for a million dollars, and then we the taxpayers pay the bills from Medicaid and Medicare through our taxes.
The family or the insurance company has to pay for the medical care that the potential donor did not get up until the deal is sealed to be a donor. Shame on all of you who are in this business. You get almost a million dollars for this donor and then you make him pay the hospital bill.
I hope the whole world hears my cry. This donor operation is horrific, and it is potentially the disembowelment of a live human being who does not get anesthesia. This is not a dignified operation. The nurses say they “feel sad” because they are left to rinse the blood out of a hollow shell. It is a numbing feeling. We would not even treat the bodies of our animals like this. There has to be a better way to prolong life than this.
Melissa’s mom, Carolyn