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The truth behind
organ donation
& transplants

The truth behind organ donation & transplants

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… The truth behind organ donation & organ transplants

Copyright & Acknowledgemts  :  Foreword
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The Nasty Side of Organ Transplanting.

Chapter 25

Sociological Implications

Would you readily take your “brain dead” family member with a warm body to cremation, asks Dr Mitsunobu Yoshii, a neurophysiologist from Japan?

We might also ask ourselves this question. Would we lower a daughter or sister, declared “brain dead", connected to a breathing apparatus, with a beating heart and warm and soft body into a grave? Would we then throw the dirt over her? Probably not. Yet transplant agencies suggest we hand over relatives to surgeons to perform multiple organ removal without anaesthetic while the donor is in similar condition.

Consider this conundrum.

A person with a knife runs into the hospital intensive care ward and slices the wrists and throat of this same “brain dead” woman. Blood sprays over the bed, her arms and legs flail about, her body convulses in pain and finally her heart ceases beating. Would we call this act abuse of a dead body or murder? Our innate feelings might be that it was murder though transplant coordinators could be called to appear in court as expert witnesses to argue that it was merely bodily abuse. Their expert opinion might reduce the sentence from execution to a good behaviour bond, or a “community service order", or a short stint in prison.

Two Types of Death Depending on Donor Status

Dying organ keepers are treated with more respect as their status descends slowly from “the patient” to “the deceased” to “the corpse” and finally as “the cadaver”.

In contrast, the status of the donor drops with lightning speed going from “the patient” to the “heart-beating cadaver” immediately a doctor declares “brain death”.

Staff continuing to treat the “heart-beating cadaver” as a living entity are ridiculed by the harvesters yet the same behaviour to an organ keeper is acceptable.

Anaesthetists using anaesthetic to stop possible pain during harvesting may be ridiculed and derided and might even face professional sanctions.

Two Types of Patients

Stroke and head injury victims are categorised soon after hospital admission: donors and non-donors. Medical bureaucrats may deny it but prospective donors are watched with a view of protecting their worth as a source of body parts. When the patients' conditions decline doctors continue treatment but keep in mind the value of the harvestable organs. The prospective donors may get damaging treatment aimed at preserving their organs for transplanting while organ retainers may receive a superior treatment designed to heal the damaged brain. Thus we have two types of patients: those who receive healing treatment and those who are maintained for spare parts.

How Happy Are Organ Recipients With Their Lives?

The “happy transplant recipient” stories promoted by the donation agencies are rarely true. To believe the joyful organ recipient notion requires an ignorance of the processes and results of transplanting—ignorance the donation agencies want to maintain.

The internationally noted Canadian cardiac surgeon, GM Guiraudon, has estimated that,

“…approximately 20% of those heart recipients will show considerable improvement of symptoms, but 20% would die within one year and the remaining 60% barely survive in a prolonged state of misery.”[192]

Also reported is that,

“…33% of cardiac transplant patients showed signs of depression” while “wound pain continued to bother a majority of patients for prolonged periods.”[193]

Humans Preying on Humans

The image of bright children being saved from death through the transplant of a vital organ from an older donor creates a warm impression. The reality is that organs are transplanted into very few children and those few who do receive heart, lung and liver transplants are shockingly unhealthy and unnatural in appearance. One could ask whether it’s an act of kindness to subject children to these ordeals.

The reality is that the donors tend to be younger than the recipients. Organs from young bodies transplant best. Recipients of kidneys are often over sixty years old while prospective kidney donors of this age rarely doante these organs due to degeneration.

Older recipients may spend their total estate that took a lifetime to accumulate for a heart or liver transplant, even with government funding. This is true in the United States and countries without national Medicare programs where ability to pay often determines whether a patient gets a transplant. It has been said organ transplant technology is the pillager of estates benefiting the industry rather than the customer.

Heart transplants were first hailed as lifesaving procedures, but the industry has descended to less crucial procedures including cosmetic surgery that has, perhaps, become the bigger illness itself. This secondary body products industry caters to those with wealth, neurosis and vanity. There is also evidence that those having breast enlargement surgery have a higher rate of suicide. This suggests that those seeking this surgery are mentally unstable or that ensuing suicidal feelings are the result of surgery, especially if it goes horribly wrong.[194] A friend working in the lingerie section of an upmarket clothing store told me she’s seen some real “boo-boos”.

One might question the value of transplanting kidneys into middle aged or older patients who have ruined these organs through preventable types of diabetes, often caused by overeating fat and sugar, and not getting enough exercise. Others ruin their kidneys and livers through high consumption of alcohol and prescription drugs.

Common prescription and supermarket drugs including those containing acetaminophen x128 are still causing liver and kidney failures. Three dollars worth of paracetamol may cause acute liver and kidney failure resulting in death or need for a transplant. This is because the recommended dose is very close to the lethal dose.[195] One might also question the value of transplanting livers when the primary cause of liver failure is from Hepatitis C caused from drug injectors sharing needles.[196]

Who Gets The Body Parts?

Those signing the organ donor registers assume that those most desperate and best able to regain health will receive their donated body parts. Few donors like the idea that their donation might be snapped up by those with power or wealth.

Most governments in affluent countries pay for kidney transplants from general taxation revenue. Yet for other organ transplants the criteria of having plentiful post-operative care and housing is crucial. This excludes some of the poorest candidates.

But the major injustices occur with the distribution of body parts and products not vital to maintaining life. Government hospitals have long waiting lists for free, non-emergency surgery so patients dependent on these institutions have less access to body parts. Those with expensive insurance enter private hospitals for immediate treatment. This means the richer classes have easy access to donated cadaver skin, bone, ligaments, tendons, hormones and fascia while the participation of the poorer people is increasingly limited to being donors.

This situation has been prevalent in the United States for decades but has only recently come about in Australia and other countries. It has been introduced by raising subsidies for private hospital insurance while reducing funding for government medical services.

The former United States vice-president, Al Gore, had a bill introduced in the US Congress to ensure that all organ transplants were safe, readily available and distributed fairly. Lobbying by the Lions Clubs of America changed the bill. They forced the bone, skin and tendon provisions to be removed, which retained the status quo of distributing donated body products according to the ability to pay rather than need.

Ghoulish Nature of the Act

Melbourne writer, Inga Clendinnen, courageously noted the ghoulish aspect of waiting for an organ. She received a liver transplant and noted the thrill of the organ failure patient upon hearing an ambulance siren on public holidays.

Japanese cardiologist and academic, Dr Yoshio Watanabe, says that patients have been quoted as confessing to wishing donors an early death.

Japanese sociologist, T. Awaya, describes the trend: “We are now eyeing each others’ bodies greedily, as a potential source of detachable spare parts with which to extend our lives.”[197] Mr Awaya somewhat optimistically calls it a form of “social” or “friendly” cannibalism.

Transplant technology has opened a Pandora’s box of cannibalism where healthy people cringe when a relative develops kidney disease. Twins are particularly prone to becoming semi-voluntary kidney banks for each other. They may be pressured emotionally or in rare circumstances taken to court by the person wanting the organ.[198]

This Pandora’s Box is driven by technology and also by medical staff who are excited, even addicted, with new surgical techniques. An American nurse working for thirteen years in the industry reports,

Once we were doing a kidney transplant.  The patient was on the table and the doctors were scrubbing their hands.  I went into the scrub room for something or other and I overheard the doctors say this. “It’s three hours of fun for us, five years of misery for the patient."  These doctors love operating.  It’s a passion for them.  I guess if you are the patient, you would rather live five years in misery than the alternative, death.  But something just seems wrong about this to me.  Despite what people think, transplanting organs is not the cure-all that it’s made out to be.[199]

The Hospital as Refuge

Transplant hospitals are like a garage you take your car for repairs then discover they've got an auto wrecking business at the back want to dismantle your vehicle for spare parts.

The introduction of staff trained to target relatives of “brain dead” patients reduces the security one feels within a hospital. It is, perhaps, taking advantage of people when they are distressed and vulnerable. Dr David Hill notes:

“It would also seem that relatives confronted with the sudden trauma that accompanies a mortal accident are in no position to give rational consent to those who have total control, to whom they are in great debt for the treatment being received and who, it may be feared, might be displeased by a refusal. Sometimes the shock is such that they are deprived of food and drink and sleep and may be under the influence of sedatives.”[200]

Sociologist T. Awaya may be somewhat optimistic when he describes transplanting as “friendly” human cannibalism. As to the effect this new “medicine’ might have on the wider society Dr Watanabe says,

“At present, I am quite certain that most lay people (especially family members of a donor) would be unable to watch the bloody scenes of transplant surgery. Only because they do not see it personally, they do not realise how cruel an act it is and can perhaps console themselves by believing that their loved one has helped some fellow citizens who needed those organs. I am, however, afraid that, once the society takes it for granted that it is acceptable to remove the beating heart, liver, kidneys, small intestines, cornea, many long bones, skin, etc., one by one, from a brain dead person who is still warm and rosy, people will get accustomed to such cruelty, and man’s intrinsic sense of guilt that deters bodily injury, murder and mutilation of the corpse may well be lost. If such a change in people’s way of thinking is combined with the trend to wish for someone else’s death in order to get an organ and live, the danger of organ traffic with increased crime, possible ecological risk of widespread and long term immunosuppressive therapy and so forth, we may well end up with a society full of terror and mutual distrust. Thus, it is our responsibility whether we are going to leave for our descendants a safe, peaceful society or one full of terror and unrest.[201]

The Splitting of the Human Species

Another hidden cost for the continual development of transplant technology is the need to perform unspeakable acts of research on millions of animals. These acts corrode human society because people can’t openly admit their indirect involvement in research events that are often happening inside their hospital’s grounds.

Before every surgeon attempts a new procedure he or she practices the technique on dozens of animals to attain the required expertise. The surgeon is then ready for humans.

While researching this subject I’ve read dozens of books and hundreds of websites and research papers on transplant surgery which contain references to dogs, baboons, monkeys, chimpanzees and pigs being used for transplant experiments. One sad reference is to the use of ex-space flight candidates and circus chimps for xeno transplant experiments because they’ve been trained to behave under stress, and their teeth have been removed.[202]

Each new report on improved transplant technology will involve many animals being subjected to transplants from their own and other species. Researchers tie them to beds or tables after surgery, often with little or no post-operative pain reduction, then calmly observe and measure the responses of these unfortunate creatures. They kill the animals afterward – sometimes with regret, other times with indifference.

The researchers are rarely disinterested observers. They're locked into academic achievement or involved in the commerce of biotechnology. Their primary aim is maintaining research grants and inventing profitable new products or procedures for the sponsoring pharmaceutical corporations.

Pigs are the prized potential source of organs for human transplants despite having less compatibility than baboons, chimps, gorillas and monkeys. Pigs walk on all fours, are too big and have hearts that pump most efficiently while the animal is horizontal. But the primates are slow to reproduce and mature and require plenty of varied, fresh and expensive foods while pigs are less fussy. Pigs also breed quickly and suffer less illness. But the main thing is that people dislike pigs; they don't look like us so few worry what happens to them. But why experiment on pigs when the contrast between them and us is so great that they probably won't be used as a source of organs? The answer may be DNA manipulation.

The transplant industry will need a creature more compatible, but humanity won’t allow the raising of humans for spare parts. The industry may respond by developing a semi-human clone using stem cells and DNA material from other species. Humans will be mentally conditioned to believe that this development will cure deadly diseases forever and that semi-human clones lack souls and sentience. Mental conditioning or “brain washing” requires an element of fear and pain so the population may be terrorised, one way or another, to acquiesce to this division of the human species.

Tom FrankenStarzl

Tom Starzl failed to transplant baboon livers into humans in 1992 and 1993. In response drug companies shifted inter-species experiments to between animal species. Secret labs switch organs from larger animals into smaller ones and vice versa. The result is a forlorn monkey holding in its arms a large parcel connected to its body with tubes. The parcel contains a pumping baboon heart too large to fit into its thoracic cage. The unfortunate monkey understands that its life depends on protecting this alien pumping mechanism. Within the transplant “community” this technology is hailed as an example of an evolving science, but for humanity represents a downward spiral or devolution.

Maintaining Kidney Harvest Rates

The number of human kidneys harvested has been maintained despite next of kin resistance and reduced trauma injuries. Harvest protagonists achieved this by increasing pressure on next of kin, reducing the qualifications for “brain death", spotting donor candidates before their hearts stop, and by lowering the time periods between hospital admissions, “brain death” diagnosis and harvesting. Some countries like Australia and the United Kingdom have removed veto rights of next of kin.

Transplant protagonists hope to meet increased demand by decreasing the rights of injured or disabled patients, making it quicker and easier to get their organs. These decreased rights include:

  1. a) assumed consent to harvest unless written organ keeper intentions have been stated.
  2. b) harvesting “vegetables” whose consciousness is subdued [203] but the brain area which maintains bodily functions is alive and healthy (as distinct from someone “brain dead” where the part of the brain that maintains body function is dying).
  3. c) harvesting terminally disabled babies at birth.

These changes will have a corrosive affect on the belief that hospitals are exclusively places of protection. People will increasingly see hospitals as places where humans prey on other humans.

Frankenstein Scenario

We’ve all heard of these new stem cell procedures promoted by the biotechnology industry. It seems every city in the Western World has two university professors who have begun their own company to market stem cell or cloning technology and need a few million dollars of start-up investment. The story line goes that within five to ten years many major diseases will be a thing of the past and all the professors need is speculative investment. They invariably claim much interest has been shown from countries all over the world. Oh, and laws and sentiments questioning the ethics of this new science must be relaxed.

Foetal stem cells are obtained from similar technology to in-vitro fertilisation or test-tube babies. The test-tube doctors, using the man’s sperm and woman’s eggs, will make seven or eight in-vitro zygotes or embryos and plant only two or three into the woman. This leaves a few spares to chop up for stem cells. Another potential source not yet exploited is from aborted foetuses. Many foetal cells are still at a primitive state and can develop into cells with specific characteristics and functions to those organs or tissues with which they are placed.

This means foetal stem cells injected into certain areas of the receiving animal or human can be coaxed into becoming gut, cartilage, bone, muscle and neuronal cells. Best experimental results are gained when foetal stem cells are obtained from the same species being treated. This means human foetal cells obtained from abortions can be used to rejuvenate the brain cells of Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease victims. The Frankenstein scenario isn’t the procedure but the fact that five foetuses are required to treat one patient and the treatment isn’t permanent.[204] The product of abortions may then become a crucial component of medical procedures and the reasons for abortions may be subverted to biotechnology interests. We may then find ourselves in a position of maintaining production of aborted foetuses and invitro embryos to feed the transplant industry.

Humanity Travels Full Circle

Have we have gone the full circle from primitive, Stone Age cannibalism to high technology cannibalism? Cannibalistic interests now dictate government legislation and employ promoters to visit schools and indoctrinate children with ghastly practices disguised as images of benevolence. We are descending socially to where we view a seriously injured person similarly to how dogs in a starving pack gaze at an injured, bleeding dog. They appease their own need of hunger by attacking and eating the injured animal. Or like rats when confronted with a potentially poisonous food, force the lowest status rat to test it while the others wait to see if it dies. Or these same rats during a famine when one-by-one they eat the weakest rats until there might be, when the drought breaks, just a half-dozen King and Queen rats remaining. Except that we humans aren't in famine: we're victims of our own Pandora’s Box technology.

Human families are now reacting differently to sick members. We are seeing a guarded reaction, particularly from the lowest status family members, when another member suffers kidney failure and goes on dialysis. There may be subtle hints implying that by donating a kidney the lowest status member, a person perceived as somewhat useless, can finally do something worthwhile to repay all the help he or she has received from the rest of the family. This family may even seek a “compelled donation” via the courts. This is an encroaching, disguised cannibalism similar to that found in the animal kingdom.

It is ironical the human race has developed this new transplant technology, thinking it was lifting us from the semi-animal to a more advanced human state, and then discovering we are going the full circle. We are descending not just to the level of primitive humans but also to that of the unconscious beast. We can mask body harvesting with soft-spoken coordinators and closed-door surgery but it is clear that we are descending into a cannibalistic society. It remains to be seen where ideological and organisational resistance to this trend will arise.

[192] GM Guiraudon personal communication with Cardiologist Yoshio Watanabe written in “Why do I stand against the movement for cardiac transplantation in Japan”. from the Cardiovascular Institute, Fujita Health University School of Medicine. Toyoake, Japan July 21, 1994

[193] Watanabe, Yoshio. “Why do I stand against the movement for cardiac transplantation in Japan”. from the Cardiovascular Institute, Fujita Health University School of Medicine. Toyoake, Japan July 21, 1994

[194] Cosmetic surgery special: When looks can kill. New Scientist Magazine, 19 October 2006

Accessed 8 May 2007

Plastic surgery linked to more suicide: study. CTV Network, Canada Oct. 8 2006

Accessed 8 May 2007

[195] Prasad, K.R. and Lodge, J.P.A.; Transplantation of the Liver and Pancreas; British Medical Journal, United Kingdom 7 April, 2001

[196] Hepatitis C: An Update. Australian Family Physician. Volume 32, Number 10. October 2003. p 48 http://www.racgp.org.au/Content/NavigationMenu/ClinicalResources/RACGPGuidelines/HepatitisC/20031029hepc.pdf

Accessed 8 May 2007

If link is inactive go to http://www.racgp.org.au/guidelines/hepatitisc then click on Hepatitis C Guidelines 2003 Update (889Kb)

[197] Scheper-Hughes, Nancy; Organ Watch at the University of California, Berkeley http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/biotech/organswatch/

Accessed 8 May 2007

[198] Goodwin, Michele. Black Markets: The supply and demand of body parts. Cambridge University Press, New York, U.S.A. 2006 p58, 64-74 (See End Note 55 for more details.)

Accessed 8 May 2007

[199] Personal correspondence with the author. The writer has not given permission for her name to be published.

[200] Potts, Michael; Byrne, Paul A. and Nilges, Richard, editors. Beyond Brain Death. Kluwer Academic Publications, London, United Kingdom. 2000

[201] Potts, Michael; Byrne, Paul A. and Nilges, Richard, editors. Beyond Brain Death. Kluwer Academic Publications, London, United Kingdom. 2000

[202] Barnard, Christiaan; The Second Life: Memoirs, Hodder and Stoughton, Sydney, Australia 1993. P33

[203] Scientists from the United Kingdom and Belgium have discovered a woman in a persistent vegetative state who can understand and respond to verbal suggestions.


Accessed 8 May 2007

[204] Cooper, D.K.C. and Lanza, R.P. Xeno. Oxford University Press, New York, NY 2000 p134,135

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