Most people go their whole lives never enduring MRI, fMRI, or EEGs. To most people, these tests are the gospel. They are cutting edge science that enable fictional autistic or drug addled doctors to make the last minute, and life saving, discovery that saves the day. Anything that accurate, must also be trusted when it says there is no hope… right?
Unlike most people, I’ve had those and many many others. I’ve done the research into their efficacy and accuracy. I’ve also read the release of liability before consenting to these. They state pretty clearly that the practice of medicine is an art, there are no guarantees, and that the technology is only an indicator, not a finite diagnostic. More often than not, these tests were not reliable. When it was life or death, the tests didn’t tell the story at all. I’m alive in spite of the technology and tests that would have me die. Thankfully, I was blessed with an amazing doctor that knew better.
In the wrong hands, this technology is being used to end lives, stop treatments, and misdiagnose. Bad doctoring kills over 250,000 people in the US, every year. That’s not including the patients they kill on purpose. The medical industry is one of the fastest growing mortalies we have. Anyone wondering why we don’t have “Doctor Control” rallies?
Bad doctoring kills over 250,000 people in the US, every year.
And…. this is why I’m having the organ donation symbol removed from all my ID. Instead, my family has instructions to donate ONLY after natural death. Time and again, doctors push to do harvests from “brain dead” patients that are not dead, or comatose or vegetative patients they insist will never recover. If you learn the history of “brain dead” and its use in the US and other Western countries, you’d see my hesitation at trusting these tests to declare me dead, when they are barely effective on animated patients that can answer their questions and comply with instructions.
Time and again, families are told that all hope is lost and forced to watch loved ones die of dehydration/suffocation, or get wheeled out to be harvested like a corn crop. When you think about it, harvesting from supposedly irredeemable patients is not too dissimilar from the live harvests that got China in so much trouble a few years ago. Granted, they are collecting political prisoners and executing them on an as-needed basis. They are the villains of every sci-fi organ donation movie ever. With a constant need in the US, the pressure on US doctors to get those donations is pretty intense. Perhaps, too intense.
To be fair, there will always be detractors that insist that no one that is “legally brain dead” has ever recovered. They quibble over terminology and evoke names like Schiavo and Quinlan, to differentiate between persistent vegetative states, brain death, and comas. If you click the links above, I would argue that the language in the media is not nearly as important as this one thing:
Doctors are obtaining permission or court orders to harvest organs from patients that can still recover.
They are advising families to end lives, before those lives are over. Whether these live harvests and starvation deaths are the result of more malpractice, or are a result of doctors playing God, I don’t know. I just know that I trust my family and God, more than them.