I am okay with organ donations that do not require the death of a person to harvest them. Hang with me here. The term brain dead only came about because of organ donation. Before they coined that term, they actually had to have a dead person. The transplants were not successful. So, in order to transplant these particular organs, the heart has to still be beating. The blood is still flowing through the donor's body. The donor is subjected to the transplant without any anesthetics at all. People assume there is no pain. We don't really know. I had a friend who had a stroke. The doctors were talking to her husband over her body about donating her organs. She was wide awake, but nobody knew it. She was completely paralyzed. They thought she was either brain dead, or very nearly there. She was screaming in her head, "NO! NO!" Thankfully, her husband said no. She is convinced they would have operated on her to take her organs had he said yes. So close. I know they do tests. But, because she was paralyzed (and they did not know that), she wouldn't have been able to respond to their tests. (They do painful things to see if they get a response.) I do not think it is ethical to do this practice. I am fine with organ donations that do not require the life of the donor: kidneys, liver, for example. And, I am okay with organ donations that don't require the blood to be pumping (eyes). The Bible says that the life is in the blood, and so this is an even bigger issue for me. If the heart is pumping, there is life. If they can't do it truly after death, then no thank you. I won't accept them for my family, and I won't donate them for another. Please, if this strikes a chord with you at all, research it. If not, then go your merry way. I'm so thankful that I learned about it so that I could make an informed choice.
Just reading the article that Angela S. posted. I highly recommend that you read it. Here is an excerpt:
"But BHCs (beating heart cadavers - so-called brain dead, with beating hearts)—who don't receive anesthetics during an organ harvest operation—react to the scalpel like inadequately anesthetized live patients, exhibiting high blood pressure and sometimes soaring heart rates. Doctors say these are simply reflexes."
Something to think about.
One more thing: there is a lot of money in that industry. Not for the donor family, but for hospitals and doctors. Here is another quote:
"Organ transplantation—from procurement of organs to transplant to the first year of postoperative care—is a $20 billion per year business. Recipients of single-organ transplants—heart, intestine, kidney, liver, single and double lung and pancreas—are charged an average $470,000, ranging from $288,000 for a kidney transplant to $1.2 million for an intestine transplant, according to consulting firm Milliman. Neither donors nor their families can be paid for organs."