EWTN Catholic Q&A
organ donation and death
Question from Anonymous on 06-01-2013:

A question asked if it was possible to have someone be truly dead and vital organs donated.

A few years ago, one of my CCD students was in a terrible car accident. "Brain dead" and on a respirator, his parents were asked about organ donation. I was aware they had, indeed, donated vital organs, but only found out later how it happened.

His family had said goodbye and he was being wheeled to the operating room to procure his organs- and his heart stopped! ( life support only helps breathing, it can't keep a heart beating) They had to do CPR all the way to the OR to keep the blood moving. I felt better knowing that was as close as humanly possible to a legitimate way for his organs to be donated.

Also- there are donations that can be made after death: corneas, skin and bone are a few. We donated all three when my step-father died, and there was no affect on how he looked at the viewing.

Answer by Judie Brown on 06-02-2013:


You are correct on all counts. However, I will point out for the record that transplant technicians now have a new classification of patients who they think are eligible for vital organ transplant and that is "non heart beating patients."

There are serious implications to such a classification and I would suggest you read this article by Registered Nurse Nancy Valko so that you know what can be at stake when the errors are made: http://www.wf-f.org/02-3-OrganDonation.html

Judie Brown

Thank you.

Judie Brown