Pro-life news and information from American Life League: "VATICAN TO 'DEBATE' ORGAN TRANSPLANTATION? BRAIN DEATH?
Posted: Tuesday September 9, 2008 at 10:20 am EST by Judie Brown
It has come as a surprise to some that the Pontifical Academy for Life is co-hosting a November 2008 conference with the theme 'A Gift for Life.' I have known that the conference has been on the drawing board for some months now. This past June, when concerns were first expressed to me, I, as an Academy member, joined with Professor Joseph Seifert to ask the Academy's leadership to reconsider the topic of the conference and perhaps postpone it until Academy members could discuss concerns privately in a closed-door meeting.
Professor Seifert has written and spoken of his concerns about the validity of the 'brain death' criterion for many years. In a 1998 Catholic World Report article, we read the following:
It is often said that in the brain-dead patient, certain organs remain alive, although the brain – and thus the patient himself – is dead. On the contrary, argues Seifert:
We have to consider that the human life is not like a tree life. Each twig and each little part of the tree has some life; it's a living cell, and the life of the whole organism is in a certain way like the integrated totality of life processes in the different parts"