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2/15/2007

brain dead or not? so scary

Andy Ho wrote a very informative article in the Review page of the Straits Times on brain death. And it is chilling to read the findings. There are many issues that are not conclusive and even after a person is declared brain dead, brain activities still can be detacted in 20% of the cases. And what is still debatable is whether the brain is the sole authority on all bodily functions. Biologically, many body functions are still working even after a person is declared brain dead. So is the person still alive or already dead? Is organ harvesting on a brain dead person actually be the final act that kills a living person, though brain dead?

1 comment:

Matilah_Singapura said...

The problem is not in the definition of brain death. The problem lies in the fact that the state is involved in health care.

In a private world, you, the owner of your body will get to decide in advance what theory you choose. So if you say, "if I am declared brain dead, I give permission for removal of these organs:....", then that means you have chosen voluntarily to give your organs away.

You can also say "If I am declared brain dead, put me on life support". As long as you have the means to continue paying the bill, no one has the right to interfere. In fact, your right to keep the rest of your body alive is protected in law — contract law.

The simple fact is this: no one can objectively say for certain if a person is DEAD when his brain is dead. Therefore the only fair and just thing to do is to allow people to decide for themselves in advance what is to be done should it happen to them.

(And BTW, removing the state from healthcare completely will drop the prices significantly because of free-market competition)

However, when the "unwelcome gate crasher" — The State — gets involved, it defines what is alive and what is dead and when, so that the state can proceed with its own agenda.

The State afterall is the ultimate decision maker in a given geographical territory. And even though it continually makes WRONG decisions, that is still "legal" because of the definition of powers The State claims for itself.