Below are comments from people throughout the USA who have had first-hand experience with this issue.
Please send us your own comments to add to this list by clicking on the contact button above.
It is vitally important to make others aware and could possibly save another's life from this horrific fate!
March 15, 2018
Thank you for bringing light to this situation. My fiance was put on life support following a warm water drowning 5 years ago. He was declared clinically brain dead but we all knew he was still present as long as his heart was beating. Donor Alliance wanted to rush him into the OR and harvest as much as they could as soon as they could. His parents, children, his friends and my family became acutely aware that Dave would not want that, and I had several heated conversations with reps from the organization as he lay in the hospital bed. On the basis of conducting a religious ceremony, I bought an extra day for him. During that day, his organs "deteriorated" so that the organs would not be viable for them to use. It was an act of mercy from God. However, as soon as blood results came back showing that this deterioration had occurred, they began dismantling the ventilator. They refused to keep the equipment hooked up because he was useless to them. I had to run to find a physician in the hospital and get them to deliver hospital owned life support equipment to our room. Donor alliance treated Dave like he was dead, discarded tissue. I had never understood this dark industry until that day. Good thing I was so aggressive about fighting for extra time, and had done an administrative internship in the hospital, so I felt comfortable name dropping and relying on the Christian affiliation the hospital claimed. Very upsetting, and ugly. However I can support your cause, I will.
Courtney S. Smith, MBA
February 25, 2017
I am a registered nurse who started giving talks on organ donation in 2010. My most recent talk was February 21, 2017. The more I read about "brain death" criteria, the more convinced I am that we cannot donate vital organs ethically or safely.
I have suffered a phenomenon called "sleep paralysis," which happens when my sleep-wake cycle becomes disrupted. During this state of paralysis--which is NOT medication induced--I am aware of my environment but unable to respond. I would not want anyone to experience anything like this, and I feel certain people diagnosed as "brain dead" are aware of their environment.
Why would we want to terrorize a vulnerable patient? Is the healthcare industry willing to do this to people only because the patient is wrongly declared "brain dead" and cannot report what is happening to them?
If this is the case, the healthcare industry has lost its ability to empathize with the most vulnerable persons.
Deborah S., RN
November 28, 2015
Dear Dr. Byrne,
My father died this year, 22 years after receiving a heart transplant. I thought the right thing to do, as he had been helped and supported by the transplant team, was to register as an organ donor. Yesterday I began reading about the harvesting of organs while a donor is still alive, the lies told to the donors' grieving families and the pressure the families are placed under to donate. I had no idea. I am still reading about the subject and I'm shocked. Today I requested that my name be taken off the register and I will receive confirmation in the mail to say that this has been done.
Thank you for your article
October 9, 2014
I am a RN and worked for 15 years in ICU. This is one reason that I quit. People on respirators with a heartbeat are still alive. Truly brain dead people will DIE even while on a respirator. Their heart will stop beating even while still on a respirator. We give up on people too quickly and declare them brain dead. We don't give their body time to heal. I promise you it is a money issue, and a feeling that life is only valuable if we meet certain criteria. Truly brain dead people don't move at all. (Lisa wrote this in reference to the Jahi McMath case.) https://www.facebook.com/keepJahiMcmathonlifesupport
Lisa Maharrey McCarter
January 27, 2014
Hospitals are killing people that are not dead. My sister in law was declared brain dead, we took her home the next day, one month later same thing. Even though the hospital was pressuring us to take her off life support, we said no. They told us she made the decision to donate her organs. We need to do something. Hospitals declaring people dead after only 5 hours of testing – some after having been given anesthesia.
Thank you for your comment. How is your sister-in-law now?
Ayla’s Response: She had terminal cancer and is dead. However my brother would consent to releasing her medical records so that you could see she was pronounced brain dead and they spoke to us all about pulling the plug and they were oppressive and threatening when my brother refused. They said she was brain dead and had renal failure and I said “then give her dialysis” and they did. They said they could force us to terminate her treatment and I said “we will move her”. We took her home the next day, she was awake, talking and walking and asked us to make sure she was really dead the next time. Then about a month later the same thing happened at the same hospital, she was pronounced brain dead, my brother said keep her on life support and they did and we took her home again. However her parents recommended hospice after she returned home and she most likely died from the morphine they gave her. You need these medical records because they tell a horrific story, and when we fought with the nice “donate the organs lady” she threatened us, said Sandra had made the choice and that we had no right to keep her on life support. Since that time I have been screaming to be heard so that people stop killing their loved ones. There's so much manipulation, and greed and misinformation.
January 25, 2014
My sister was in a car accident that left her a quadriplegic. Her arms were cut off by the guardrail. We saw signs which the doctors said were just reflexes. We knew better. The doctors went by what science said, we went on our faith in God. All of her tests and three professional opinions say there is NO brain function. That she is brain dead. Yet the doctors cannot explain why she can carry on a sane conversation with them or anyone. I have no confidence in those tests because of my experience. No matter what anyone thinks, you simply cannot imagine what a family goes through in any tragic situation unless you've walked in the same shoes.
Rebecca Garza Matlock
This comment was E-mailed directly to us in June 2013:
I am part of a surgical team that procures organ and tissue. Just one month ago I was helping to move an organ donor from her ICU bed to the operating room table, as I placed a pillow under her head I noticed her eyes were open and darting about the room, one hour later her chest was opened and we began taking her liver and kidneys. I beg everyone reading this to believe what Im going to say, its all about money, helping people is secondary, the CEO's of these organ procurement organizations make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. I could go on and on how opo's bully and lie to families to get them to donate. As God is my witness, they do not care about helping anyone and God forgive me for my part in this evil scam.
"The public needs to be better educated about Brain Injury, what to expect and where to go for help. When (patient) was just starting to wake up from his coma, we were told that he was brain dead and there was no hope. We were encouraged to remove him from life support. We thank our Lord and Mary Free Bed for proving them wrong!"
Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital patient satisfaction survey, April, 2009 - Grand Rapids, Michigan
"I personally know 2 people whose families were told they were "brain dead" and they should be removed from life support. Their families had the courage to say no and insist that treatment continue. Today they have both recovered and are leadiing normal productive lives."
C. T. Grand Rapids, MI
"Countless times over the years, as a nurse, I have seen doctors turn out to be wrong when they have given families a dire prognosis about their loved one. Honest mistakes do happen but with time and care, a surprising number of such patients survived and some even fully recovered. In the past, however, we weren’t in such a rush to withdraw treatment or donate organs. Today, a dire prognosis can be a death sentence."
Nancy Valko, President of Missouri Nurses For Life
"One of my co-workers' friends wife was pronounced "Brain Dead" and they wanted to take her organs. Her husband flatly refused and made them continue treating her. Today she is fine. She is back to work and you would never know this happened to her."
L. Z. Michigan