Bioethics Medicine Religion

Brain death and fundamentalist religion, revisited

Yesterday, I wrote about the sad case of Motl Brody, a 12-year-old Orthodox Jew whose brain tumor had rendered him brain dead and whose parents are fighting the efforts of the hospital to disconnect him from the ventilator and to stop all the powerful cardiac drugs that are keeping his heart beating and his blood pressure high enough because their religion tells them that death is defined by cessation of heartbeat and breathing. They do not accept the concept of brain death, even though they do accept that their child will never recover.

Yale neurologist and all-around skeptical guru Steve Novella has weighed in. Definitely worth a read.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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