It was 1989, and she was still a resident anesthesiologist, Dr. Heidi Klessig recalled in her book, “The Brain Death Fallacy.”

One day, her attending anesthesiologist told her to prepare a brain-dead organ donor for organ removal surgery.

Upon examining the patient, Dr. Klessig was surprised to find that the man looked exactly like every other critically ill, living patient and, in fact, better than most.

“He was warm, his heart was beating, and his monitors showed stable vital signs,” wrote Dr. Klessig. “Nevertheless, on his bedside exam, he checked all the boxes for brain death, and the neurologist declared him ‘dead.’”

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Michigan Family Succeeds in Stopping Organ Donation

A Michigan state judge halted the harvesting of organs from a patient declared “brain dead,” in a case that highlights the shortcomings of organ donation cards and informed consent.

The family of 30-year-old Jaszmine Philips went to court to stop Gift of Life Michigan, the organ procurement agency working with Trinity Health in Muskegon, Michigan from harvesting her organs. According to news reports, Philips suffered from type-1 diabetes and showed no brain activity when she was admitted to the hospital. Philips’ driver’s license indicated she was an organ donor, but her family said she reversed her decision and indicated that multiple times.

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