note: Recently, Catholic
Candle examined the permission the Church traditionally gives to a person
who is in danger of death, to confess to a priest whom an uncompromising
Catholic could not otherwise support (or confess to) because that priest is a
compromiser, an apostate, or someone whom it is otherwise impermissible to
support. Find the article here: https://catholiccandle.org/2020/01/01/using-a-compromised-priest-when-dying/
Catholic Candle also addressed
how uncompromising laymen can bury their dead in these times of great apostasy
when an uncompromising priest is not available. Find the article here: https://catholiccandle.org/2020/04/02/a-traditional-catholic-funeral-and-burial-when-there-is-no-uncompromising-priest-available/
last confession (discussed in the first of those articles) and the burial
(discussed in the second article), is the crucial moment of death. We gave
recommendations how to assist at a person’s death, based on the experience of
some of the Catholic Candle Team, who recently assisted at the deaths of
two uncompromising Traditional Catholics. Find the article here: https://catholiccandle.org/2020/06/01/how-to-assist-a-person-in-dying-a-holy-death/
Also, in our
last days of life, we must continue to give sufficient care to sustain our life
– even as it is waning – and must not yield to the culture of death, which
promotes euthanasia. Therefore, we examined the minimum care we are obliged to
provide to sustain our life even when we are dying. Find the article here: https://catholiccandle.org/2020/07/01/use-of-ordinary-care-even-as-we-are-dying/
we live in a culture of death, part of our using sufficient care to sustain our
life – even as it is waning – we must never acquiesce in being murdered by
having our vital organs removed to be “donated” to another person. Further, we
must never accept the “donation” of a vital organ from someone else, as we
would then become complicit in his murder. Below, we examine the evil of such murder
by the “donation” of a vital organ.
that you save these articles for future reference and use.
What is death?
Death is the
separation of body and soul.
Death occurs at an instant. In other words, death is not something that occurs
gradually over a period of time, although the subsequent corruption of the body
does occur gradually.
A dying person
is a person who is still alive. A deeply comatose person is still alive; (a
corpse cannot be comatose).
know that death is the separation of body and soul, we usually do not know
exactly when this separation (viz., death) occurs. We
usually can only know with certitude afterwards, that a person has already
the body – gangrene contrasted to a person’s death
Our soul is what
makes our body to be what it is, viz., a human body. Without our soul,
our body becomes merely a decaying lump of organic matter which is on its way
to becoming dirt, dust or ashes.
It can happen
that the soul ceases to be present in a bodily part of a person
who is still alive. In other words, that part of a person’s body
is no longer vivified by his soul. This can happen, e.g., in the limb
of a diabetic person who is still very much alive. When the soul ceases to
vivify part of the body, that part of the body dies and rots. This is called
If some parts, e.g.,
the person’s feet, are dead and begin rotting (i.e., have gangrene), but
other parts, e.g., his heart and other internal organs, remain uncorrupted,
this lack of corruption is a sign that the person is not yet dead – because those
internal organs do not yet exhibit the corruption which would tell us that his
soul is no longer vivifying any parts of his body (i.e.,
preserving them from corruption).
Just as gangrene
shows a part of a body is no longer vivified by the soul, likewise general
corruption throughout the whole body shows the entire
body is no longer vivified by the soul. This tells us that the person is certainly
Catholic Church uses the safer and more reasonable standard requiring general
corruption of the body as a condition for certainty that a person is
really dead, people sometimes use the “cold, blue, and stiff” standard to
blue, and stiff” standard for determining death could leave room for different
interpretations in some circumstances, e.g., how cold is the body and
for how long? Where, and in how many places, is the body’s temperature
measured? Moreover, particular circumstances can add uncertainty of whether a
person is really dead, e.g., when a cold, non-responsive swimmer is
pulled out of cold water.
What are “vital
A “vital organ”
is an organ (i.e., a part of the body) the loss of which results in
death. If a person consents to the removal of one of his vital organs while he
is alive, he would be consenting to his own death.
Even if a
person were unavoidably near to death, he still must not consent to having his
life shortened by having a bodily organ removed which brings about his death.
This is like the fact that a person’s nearness to death does not permit him to
jump off of a cliff or do anything else which would cause his death to come
a person must not consent to his own murder, a person cannot agree to “donate”
one of his vital organs (such as his heart) until his body (including his
heart) has begun corrupting (showing us that he has truly, already died). Once
he has truly died and his body has begun a general corruption, then his body
can be donated to help others, e.g., in medical research.
industry of transplanting vital human organs
In 1967, a
cardiac surgeon, Christiaan Bernard, performed the first human-to-human heart
This landmark surgery opened up whole new possibilities for patients, but such organ
transplant surgeries obviously require a supply of “donated” hearts and/or
other vital organs.
Today, the transplantation
of vital organs is a many-billion-dollar industry.
transplant industry gets vital organs by murdering living people who are labeled
organ “donor” and his family cannot receive any payment, there are many billions
of dollars made collectively, by many persons and organizations involved in
this industry, e.g., the hospitals, the pharmaceutical companies, and
transplant industry’s problem is a shortage of high-quality human organs. If the
“donor’s” organs are not cut out of his body until after he is really dead
and has begun corrupting, then his organs are worthless for transplantation
into another person. Even under the alternate standard for determining death –
the “cold, blue, and stiff” standard – all vital organs are useless for
transplanting into another human.
Thus, the organ
transplant industry saw that it needed to remove the “donor’s” vital organs while
he was still alive. But the transplant industry needed to label
him as dead and pretend he was dead so that surgeons would be legally permitted
to extract the organs and also in order that the public would accept this
The result was
a legal and medical fiction
beginning with a Harvard Medical School proposal in 1968. Under this proposal
a person who is in a so-called “irreversible coma” would be relabeled
as “brain dead” and then the medical establishment would pretend this so-called
“brain death” was the person’s real death.
a person is in a supposed “irreversible coma”, he is still alive. No cadaver could
ever be in an “irreversible coma”.
dead” persons are often euphemistically called “beating heart cadavers”,
tacitly showing that everyone knows those “brain dead” persons are really
The authors of
the New England Journal of Medicine article quoted and cited above,
promotes organ “donations” from so-called “brain dead” persons. The authors do
not dispute that “brain death” is not real death. However, they advocate that
the medical profession should stop pretending that the “brain
dead” person who is “donating” his organs is not being killed by having his
vital organs “harvested”.
shows conclusively that “brain death” is not real death
body’s general corruption tells us that the person has died,
likewise while a body’s vital functions continue, they tell us that the person
is alive. This is true even if the person receives assistance from medical
machines, such as a respirator. Here is how Pope Pius XII taught this truth:
Human life continues for as long as
its vital functions – distinguished from the simple life of organs – manifest
themselves spontaneously or even with the help of artificial processes.
“brain dead” persons are really helpless living persons whose vital organs are
“harvested” by murdering them. These persons are often warm and pink, with a normal
pulse and blood pressure.
The bodies of
so-called “brain dead” persons are able to heal wounds, fight infections,
respond to stimuli, and retain their spinal reflexes. A “brain
dead” person can
survive for months on life support equipment.
When a “brain
dead” person is cut open to extract one of his vital organs, he moves in
reaction to the pain, unless he is paralyzed by drugs”. Obviously,
such a “donor” is not really dead because a corpse does not need anesthesia
or react to pain.
When a “brain dead” person is cut open, his pulse rate and blood pressure rise just as any
other person during surgery.
“brain dead” expectant mother can be kept alive for months, for
the sake of her baby.
There have been
many examples of so-called “irreversible comas” being reversed
advancements in medical treatments since 1968, there have been very many persons
whose supposedly “irreversible coma” was reversed and the person made a full or
substantial recovery to an independent life.
McKinley, a 13-year old Alabama boy, was declared brain dead after suffering
skull fractures and a traumatic brain injury in March 2018. All the usual
tests showed he was “brain dead”. His mother signed papers to donate his
organs. Fortunately, he regained consciousness before his vital organs were
removed. Trenton was taken off the ventilator and eventually went home. He is
now conscious, walking and talking.
❖ In 2007, Zach
Dunlap, a 21-year-old Oklahoma man, flipped over on his 4-wheeler and suffered
catastrophic brain injuries. A day and a half after his accident, doctors at
United Regional Healthcare System in Wichita Falls, Texas determined he was
"brain dead.” They had subjected Zach to a battery of tests including a
scan that showed a complete absence of blood flow to the brain. Preparations
to harvest his organs were underway when a relative scraped the bottom of his
foot with a pocket knife and he jerked his foot away. Just months later, Zack
was walking and talking. He recalled hearing a doctor say he was dead and
being “mad inside” but unable to move.
❖ Kate Allat
suffered a stroke at the age of 39 and spent the next ten days in a coma. Allat
later revealed that she heard everything going on around her in her hospital
room and she was fearful her life support would be turned off. Her mind was
functioning normally during her coma but everyone around her thought she was “brain
dead” as she laid in her hospital bed paralyzed and unable to speak or breathe
on her own. She listened in fright as medical staff discussed switching off
her life support with her family. … “They thought I was in a vegetative
state. I couldn’t move a muscle. There was no signal I was in there,” she
said. “I was on life support and they might have turned it off.” “I couldn’t
breathe for myself but I could hear conversations that I didn’t want to hear.”
Kate made a full recovery.
❖ Steven Thorpe
suffered devastating injuries in a car crash. His parents were told there was
no chance of their son surviving. But they refused to give up hope – despite
four specialists declaring that the 17-year-old was “brain dead”. Steven’s
parents were convinced they saw a “flicker” of life as Steven lay in a coma.
They refused to allow the hospital to switch off his life support machine. Two
weeks later, Steven woke from his coma. Within seven weeks, he had left the hospital.
And four years later, Steven was working as a trainee accounts clerk.
surprise readers that so-called “brain death” does not even require
confirmation that the person has no measurable brain activity. Some co-called
“brain dead” persons can continue to have brain activity (as well
as many other bodily functions which prove they are still alive).
“brain dead” person’s brain can “fall silent” in response to a decreased blood
flow, even if his brain remains uninjured. This is called “ischemic
“brain death” and deep coma
It is obvious
that a “brain dead” or comatose person is alive. Would anyone ever bury a
person showing so many signs of life? No! Because he is alive! Yet,
he is labeled as “brain dead” and so he can be considered fit to
be murdered by “harvesting” his vital organs.
which automatically designate everyone in the public as a “donor” of his
vital organs unless he opts out.
In the transplant
industry’s tireless pursuit of vital organs, some countries take advantage of
most people’s inattention and inaction by passing “laws” which declare everyone
as a consenting “donor” of his vital organs unless he opts-out of the country’s
organ harvesting program.
For example, in
2020, England passed a “law” presuming people consent to “donate” their vital
organs when they become “brain dead”, unless they register on a government
website to opt out of being thus murdered.
which have opt out “laws” are Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Spain,
Austria, and Belgium.
The state of California now has an opt out “law” too.
Catholic Faith, the Natural Law, and sound thinking require a person to opt out
of this type of murderous organ “donation” program.
transplantation should be recognized for what it is – murder – and should be a
felony. But today, it is common for people to be pressured into agreeing ahead
of time to “donate” their vital organs, often in the name of “charity” and
“compassion”. This pressure often occurs when they renew their driver’s
People are told
that “donating” their vital organs is unselfish. They are told that “your
heart will continue living in someone else”, etc. Ironically, people
are told that donating their heart – which murders them – is “lifesaving
Even if many
people act in ignorance or with misplaced “charity” when they agree to “donate”
their vital organs, they are nonetheless agreeing to be murdered. But such
organ “donation” is not real charity any more than it is charitable to commit suicide
for ecological reasons such as to “reduce greenhouse gases” to “save the
is plain we must not agree to the “donation” of our vital organs. But even if
a person does not explicitly consent ahead of time, a person could still be murdered
for his organs in the future, as he lies helpless and defenseless in a coma.
one should remain silent on this issue. Everyone should explicitly reject the
“donation” of his vital organs and reject receiving another person’s vital
organs, using a declaration such as this:
I reject any treatment that uses an organ or tissue
of another person obtained in a manner that causes, contributes to, or hastens
that person’s death. I reject any treatment that uses a vital organ “donated”
by any other person who is declared “dead” (usually this declaration of “death”
is made shortly before the organ is removed). I also reject any treatments
that use an organ or tissue of an unborn or newborn child who has been subject
to an induced abortion. I
do not want any of my organs to be donated.
Although it is
a mortal sin to consent to murder by “donation” of a vital organ, it is a good
and generous work for us to donate even an important bodily organ which does
not cause our death. For example, we can donate one of our two kidneys, a lobe
of our liver, or a lobe of a lung, part of our pancreas, a cornea, or bone
marrow, none of which impede our continued life. These donations are a
charitable work for those in need.
Beware of cooperating
in any way in murder to “harvest” vital organs!
Not only must
we never consent to murder by “donating” or receiving a vital organ, we must
also never cooperate in any other way, when people commit this evil. A person
can be responsible for another person’s murder through organ “donation”
in nine separate ways,
including by remaining silent (when we should object), by expressing approval,
or by advising a person to “donate” his vital organ (or to receive the
transplant of a vital organ).
sunk into the murderous practices of the pagan Aztecs
We see that, in
a way, our society has sunk back to the evils of pagan times, murdering people
to obtain their beating hearts (or hearts still able to beat). Here is what
the Spanish encountered when they first went to Aztec Mexico:
In 1519, at the
time when Spanish Captain Hernán Cortez, came to Mexico, the barbaric, pagan
Aztec Indians offered human sacrifices almost daily. The Aztecs, who ruled
from Mexico City, offered about 20,000 human sacrifices every year to their
pagan (false) gods. That is an average of more than 50 each day! These
victims usually had their hearts cut out while still beating; then
their bodies were dismembered. The Aztecs sometimes ate body parts. At the
Aztecs’ inauguration of their pagan temple at Mexico City, they massacred about
20,000 victims in four days. That averages about one such gruesome murder
every 17 seconds, all day and night!
Aztecs offered their human sacrifices to their false gods, modern man offers
similar human sacrifices to a creature lower than a “god”, viz., to a
fellow man. The modern “harvesting” of vital organs is, as it were, merely
Aztec human sacrifices committed under surgical draping and using sterile
person’s vital organs is premeditated murder. Your organ donor card might be
your death warrant.
should never give permission to “donate” their vital organs and should not
allow this authorization to be indicated on their driver’s license. Such
permission would be to consent to their own murder.
Catholics should be careful to opt out of organ “donation” in those countries
such as England, where permission to “donate” organs is assumed unless a person