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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    NY ∙ Eager - ghoulish? - doctors attempted to harvest living woman's organs

    Woman opened her eyes as doctors who thought she was brain dead began to take out her organs for donation. (Daily Mail)
    Doctors at St. Joseph's Hospital in Syracuse NY were in the process of starting surgery to harvest a dead woman's organs when that woman opened her eyes. She was still alive.
    Colleen S. Burns of North Syracuse, New York, 41, had been admitted to the hospital in October 2009 for a drug overdose.
    The state Health Department investigation of the incident found that when Burns was first admitted, they skipped a recommended treatment that would prevent the drugs she had taken - Xanax, Benadryl and a muscle relaxant - from being absorbed by her stomach and intestines.

    They also didn't do enough testing to see if she was free of drugs or perform enough brain scans.
    But the day before the organs were to be removed, a nurse performed a reflex test and found that Burns was still reacting.

    She scraped her finger on the bottom of one of Burns' feet and her toes curled downward, a sign that she was still alive.

    And that wasn't the only sign of life. As she was being wheeled to the operating room, Burns' nostrils flared and it seemed she was breathing independently from the respirator. Her lips and tongue were moving as well.

    But doctor's ignored the nurse's observations which indicated Burns was still alive, and proceeded with the surgery anyway.

    Before the procedure, Burns was given an injection of the sedative Ativan, but neither the sedative or the observations of life were recorded in the doctor's notes for the procedure.

    Dr. David Mayer, a general vascular surgeon and associate professor of clinical surgery an New York Medical College, said the application of a sedative is quite strange.

    'It would sedate her to the point that she could be non-reactive,' Mayer told the Post-Standard. 'If you have to sedate them or give them pain medication, they're not brain dead and you shouldn't be harvesting their organs.'

    It wasn't until Burns opened her eyes in the OR that the procedure was called off.
    much more at the link

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    That's why many people are afraid to sign up as organ donors. Organs shouldn't be taken from people who can still use them.
    Just my opinion

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by jjenny View Post
    That's why many people are afraid to sign up as organ donors. Organs shouldn't be taken from people who can still use them.
    I agree with this. Many people are afraid that if they agree to be a donor that life saving measures won't be taken for them, or that medical staff will be too eager to harvest the organs.

    It sounds to me like the Dr. possibly made a judgment of "worthiness" on this woman and thought someone else might be more worthy of the organs. I hope they are filing charges on him.
    Just when I think that I have seen the most depraved things a human can do to another human, somebody posts a new story...........

    Why is it that when a custodial parent fails to provide for a child it is called neglect and is a criminal matter. But when a non custodial parent fails to provide it is called failure to support and is a civil matter?

    "Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it became a butterfly" ~ Michelle Knight

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Sounds like the hospital got away with $6,000 fine. No charges. Woman didn't even sue because she was deeply depressed.
    Just my opinion

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Something like that happening would definitely make a person even more depressed, but the story sounds almost like a miracle was given this lady, hopefully through nurses who wouldn't give up. I wonder if she had a living will?

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