Paul A. Byrne, M.D.
577 Bridgewater Drive
Oregon, Ohio 43616
Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
Judiciary committee hearing – HB 30 (SB 850, printers number 1593)
Chairman Cutler, Chairman White, and members of the committee:
I am Dr. Paul Byrne, a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Toledo College of Medicine. I have held similar academic ranks at St. Louis University, Creighton University and Oral Roberts University.
I have been invited to speak multiple times in the state of Pennsylvania and many other states throughout the USA as well as many other countries. When I am invited to speak, I am requested to share my knowledge that “brain death” is false and not true death and how vital organs for transplantation are always taken from persons with circulation and respiration. The audiences easily understand and grasp the seriousness of what is happening.
I founded the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis Missouri. In 1975, my practice of medicine was greatly changed by Joseph, a patient. Several weeks after Joseph was born, he was on a ventilator and would not breathe on his own. Brain wave testing showed that he had no brain waves. It was suggested to stop the ventilator; nevertheless we continued to treat Joseph. Eventually he was able to breathe without the help of the ventilator. In school, Joseph received excellent grades and participated in sports. Joseph is married and the father of 3 children.
Baby Joseph prompted my study of “brain death,” which has continued to the present. 30 disparate sets of “brain death” criteria were published between 1968 and 1978. None are based on data that would be considered valid for any other “advance” in medicine. In 2008 a survey of the leading neurological institutions in the USA indicated there was no consensus as to which set of criteria to use. In 2010 it was reported that neurological criteria (“brain death”) are not evidenced based.
Every organ taken for transplantation is a healthy organ and is taken from a person with circulation of the blood and respiration. Organs must receive oxygen until they are taken or the organs will be so damaged that they cannot be transplanted. Heart, lungs, whole liver, intestines and pancreas cannot be transplanted from a cadaver.
HB 30 and SB 850 deceptively results in getting organs when the applicant for a learner’s or driver’s permit is asked: “Do you wish to have the organ donor designation printed on your driver’s license?” Since the applicant is provided insufficient information to form a reasoned decision, serious ethical issues arise. Is the applicant informed that the donor must have circulation and respiration? Can the applicant fully appreciate that given proper treatment, the living person can continue to live? Does the applicant realize that signing the application gives consent for the surgeon to stop and cut out the applicant’s heart and other vital organs. After the heart is cut out, the donor is then truly dead. This action violates informed consent.
What is “organ donor designation”? With little, or no information, the applicant answers “yes” or “no.” If the answer is yes, the applicant is led to believe that whatever is to happen, it is after death, but in fact HB 30 (SB 850) allows it to happen before death. Both “imminent death” and “near death” mean the donor is alive.
“Only an affirmative response of an individual shall be noted on the front of the driver’s license.” When the applicant’s answer is a negative, it is not recorded.
Most organs are obtained after a declaration of “brain death,” which varies from doctor to doctor and hospital to hospital. A person can be declared dead by a doctor but factually be alive.
Many families have contacted me when their loved one is unconscious and on a ventilator. If certain brain stem reflexes are not elicited, an apnea test is done. This is not a test for sleep apnea. The ventilator is taken away for up to 10 minutes. The patient must show to the medical personnel that he can take a breath or this becomes the signal to cut out the patient’s beating heart. During that time off the ventilator, the carbon dioxide increases. This makes brain swelling increase; the patient can only get worse. The relatives are not informed about this apnea test, but should be. Who could agree to a test that can only make the condition of your loved one get worse?
There are many news accounts of people recovering after a declaration of “brain dead.” Zack Dunlap from Oklahoma was declared “brain dead.” There was no blood flow to his brain as evidenced by a PET scan. The helicopter was landing to extract Zack’s organs. A cousin who is a nurse in the ICU did another test. A response was observed. The transplant was stopped. This and others were recorded for the national and international community. Even one such patient should be enough to wake people up to the fact “brain death” is not true death. And there are many!
Attachment A is tabulation of multiple problems with HB 30 (SB 850). Attachment B is a letter from a mom telling about what happened to her daughter. I request that you oppose HB 30 (SB 850). Consider that the prospective donor is a living person who becomes dead or weaker after his/her own organs are cut out. When organs are taken without full knowledge, isn’t this involuntary servitude or slavery, which was abolished by Amendment 13 of the USA Constitution?
Paul A. Byrne, M.D.
President, Life Guardian Foundation
Reasons Not To Pass PA HB 30 (SB 850, Printer’s No. 1593)
- Pennsylvania Senators and Representatives have a duty to provide safety through passage of good laws. In these matters of organ and tissue transplantation, the duty is to protect persons who are unable to defend themselves. It is difficult or impossible for legislators to do this if they do not have sufficient information. PA HB 30 (SB 850, Printer’s No. 1593) provides for harm to unconscious vulnerable persons who enter a hospital by permitting administration of measures necessary to ensure the medical suitability of the donor’s organs without any informed consent. These measures can be harmful to the living person who is selected to be a “prospective donor.”
- B 30 (SB 850, Printer’s No. 1593) does not define “measures necessary to ensure the medical suitability” of the part; thus these measures can be anything an Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) or Transplant Center desires. In a lecture titled “Caring for Organs or for Patients? Ethical Concerns about the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (2006),” Dr. Michael DeVita from Pennsylvania said, “I know two of the three. They’re large transplant centers; they do a lot of work. They make a lot of money from this.” Further Dr. DeVita said, “There is an interest in allowing a person to be supported long enough for brain death to occur” to give opportunity to obtain many more organs. HB 30 (SB 850, Printer’s No. 1593) appears to be designed for this special “interest” with allowing “measures necessary to ensure the medical suitability of the part” to be used on living patients without their knowledge or consent.
- For more than 2,000 years physicians took the Hippocratic Oath “Do not kill; do not harm.” But shortly after the first heart transplant, definition of “irreversible coma” and the conjuration of “brain death,” many American medical schools abandoned the Hippocratic Oath in their graduation ceremonies.
- Dr. DeVita has denied reintubation and ventilation is done to pronounced dead patients because they would not be dead (but resuscitated). But he really knows that it is going on and many other professionals have acknowledged that DCD donors are alive when being harvested and it is the organ removal that kills them. In the UAGA (2006) lecture, Dr. DeVita said, “There are some places that put patients on by-pass.”…“In the United States if you have cardiac death, you’re not put on a machine. You’re dead, you’re dead; we’re just going to procure the organs.” Dr. DeVita’s statement is untrue. In March 2007, just one month after Dr. DeVita’s UAGA (2006) lecture, UNOS introduced Attachment III to Appendix B of the UNOS bylaws (Model Elements for Controlled DCD Recovery Protocols) which became effective July 2007. “The UNOS Bylaws permit life sustaining technologies such as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and artificial airways with lung inflation for bronchoscopy as donation related procedures after controlled cardiac death (2 to 5 minutes of circulatory arrest) for the sole purpose of organ preservation.” “[E]xtracorporeal oxygenated circulation (ECMO) applied after death for the purposes of organ perseveration is a true violation of the dead donor rule, as death cannot be ensured if brain function recommences.”
- People who register as “organ donors” at the Department of Transportation have absolutely no idea what methods of manipulation that the transplantation industry has in mind for them. Over the years, people have been told and have been conditioned into believing the donor is not even considered for organ donation until after true death. But controlled DCD has been going on and now the PA HB 30 (SB 850, Printer’s No. 1593) will trap more patients into being harvested by its methods. Families will no longer be able to say “No” if their loved-one had previously registered as a donor. “There are many scenarios that will be encountered that will elicit strong ethical debate which is why we felt the neurologically devastated but non-brain-dead patient population was a good starting point for our study. Given time and acceptance of our protocol, we anticipate slowly and carefully expanding the technology to other potential donor patient populations.”3 What other populations are they already talking about?
- “Now that we’ve established that we’re going to take organs from patients who have a prognosis of death but who do not meet the strict definition of death, might we become more interested in taking organs from patients who are not dead at all but who are incapacitated or disabled?” David Crippen, critical-care specialist at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.
- The PA HB 30 (SB 850, Printer’s No. 1593) forces a person to be continued on ventilation support and/or “measures necessary to ensure the suitability of the part” for someone else’s benefit (involuntary servitude) without informing the person about what the government has allowed the transplant industries to do. How can any Pennsylvania Senator or Representative even consider passing PA HB 30 (SB 850, Printer’s No. 1593) which places citizens into involuntary servitude and breaks the 13th Amendment of the Constitution of the UnitedStates? In the arena of organ transplantation, doctors Senators and Representatives ought to protect the citizens; where else is the citizen to turn for safety? I request that you oppose PA HB 30 (SB 850, Printer’s No. 1593) for these reasons.
Letter from mother:
Subject: Celebrating the Victory over the evil empire of dissecting live injured patients for their organs.
You and the millions of Americans are totally wrong. The donor, yes is gracious to give his life for another, but the donor is misinformed and lied to by the medical community and the government, Ask Dr. Truog. The donor is not dead, they could probably survive like all the other patients who have been ignobly and falsely accused of being “Brain dead.” Good is not good when the benefactor is purely evil, it is evil to torture an innocent injured patient by dissecting his organs out of them. If you truly want to report the facts, report the organ donor is alive, and if they truly knew what was going to happen to them in the O.R. room, They would not give their permission at the tender young age of sixteen to be an organ donor. I am one happy mother to know that the wishes of the evil empire to make my daughter an organ donor was overturned because of suspicion. Yep a parent becomes very suspicious when standing by the bed of their severely injured living daughter and within fifteen minutes is told by the relatives who have just come back from talking to the nurses and doctors, that they are looking for your daughter’s driver’s license so they can carry out the ongoing plans to honor my daughter as an organ donor, that is to kill my daughter, so they could sale her organs for a million dollars to the government, Medicare and Medicaid. My daughter had no idea what she was signing up for. Organs do not take, they are rejected by the recipients own body. The recipient will have to take a poisonous drug to trick the body for a time, eventually the body will find a way to circumvent the poison or the poison will kill another organ, cause cancer or brain abnormality. This is why the list is so high, because people are on their second and third organ transplant, some have had up to five. Five living people have died to save one. This is folly.
Melissa Noel’s Mom
 Greer DM, Varelas PN, Haque S and Wijdicks EFM. Variability of brain death determination guidelines in leading US neurologic institutions. Neurology 2008;70;284-289.
 Wijdicks EFM. The case against confirmatory tests for determining brain death in adults. Neurology 2010;75;77-83.
 Zack Dunlap from Oklahoma http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23768436.
Val Thomas from West Virginia www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,357463,0.html.
Frenchman began breathing on own as docs prepared to harvest his organs. www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25081786.
Australian woman survives “brain death” http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/brain-dead-woman-recovers-after-husband-refuses-to-withdraw-life-support UTM source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=231fd2c2c9-LifeSiteNews_com_US_Headlines05_12_2011&utm_medium=email
 The New England Journal of Medicine, ‘Perspective Roundtable: Organ Donation after Cardiac Death’, View Streaming Video (17:23) http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/359/7/669/DC1
 Autoresuscitation and organ donation after cardiac death: clarifying misunderstandings about the physiology of human circulation’, Mohamed Rady, September 18, 2007 http://www.peh-med.com/content/2/1/18/comments
 Extracorporeal Support for Organ Donation after Cardiac Death Effectively Expands the Donor Pool’, The Journal of TRAUMA Injury, Infection, and Critical Care, Volume 58 – No 6