Dad rescues ‘brain dead’ son from doctors wishin

A team of four physicians insisted that his son was “brain-dead” following a
car accident, but the father persisted.

BY Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

LEICESTER, England, April 25, 2012 ( – According to the
Daily Mail newspaper, a young British man owes his life to an insistent
father who would not allow his son’s organs to be removed from his body,
despite assurances from four doctors that his son could not recover from the
wounds he had suffered in a recent car accident.

The Mail reports that Stephen Thorpe, then 17, was placed in a
medically-induced coma following a multi-car pileup that had already taken
the life of his friend Matthew, who was driving the vehicle.

Although a team of four physicians insisted that his son was
“brain-dead” following the wreck, Thorpe’s father enlisted the help of
a general practitioner and a neurologist, who demonstrated that his son
still had brain wave activity.  The doctors agreed to bring him out of the
coma, and five weeks later Thorpe left the hospital, having almost
completely recovered.

Today, the 21-year-old with “brain damage” is studying accounting at a
local university. “‘My impression is maybe the hospital weren’t very
happy that my father wanted a second opinion,” he told the Mail.

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The case is similar to dozens of others LifeSiteNews has reported in recent
years, in which comatose or otherwise unconscious patients are declared to
be “brain dead,” or hopelessly incurable. In many cases, aggressive
doctors seek the organs of the patient for harvesting.

In 2011, the Quebec Hospital Sainte Croix de Drummondville sought permission
to extract the eyes of a patient who had choked on hospital food in the
absence of a nurse, claiming she was “brain dead.” After the family
demanded proof from physicians of her alleged condition, she regained
consciousness, and recovered most of her faculties. The family declared its
intention to sue the hospital.

In 2008, a 45-year-old Frenchman revived on the operating table as doctors
prepared to “harvest” his organs for donation, following cardiac arrest.
In the subsequent investigation by the hospital’s ethics committee, a
number of doctors admitted that such cases, while rare, were well known to

That same year, a “brain dead” 21-year-old American, Zack Dunlap, was
about to have his organs harvested when his two sisters, both nurses,
decided to test the hospital’s theory that his brain was no longer
functioning. Family members poked his feet with a knife and dug their
fingernails under his nails, provoking strong reactions by Dunlap and
proving he was conscious. He recovered completely. He later related that he
was conscious and aware as doctors discussed harvesting his organs in his

The term “brain death” was invented in 1968 to accommodate the need to
acquire vital organs in their “freshest” state from a donor who some
argue is still very much alive.

While death had previously been defined as lack of respiration and heart
activity, “brain death” was judged as compatible with an otherwise
living patient. “Brain death” has never been rigorously defined, and
there are no standardized tests to determine if the condition exists.

Dr. John Shea, a medical advisor to, points out that
patients diagnosed as “brain dead” often continue to exhibit brain

In “Organ Donation: The Inconvenient Truth”, Shea states that the
criteria for “brain death” only “test for the absence of some specific
brain reflexes. Functions of the brain that are not considered are
temperature control, blood pressure, cardiac rate and salt and water
balance. When a patient is declared brain dead, these functions are not only
still present, but also frequently active.”

See important related story:
Critical organ donation warnings and guidance in new pamphlet: “Do not do
an Apnea test!”

A list of articles by LifeSiteNews on comotose and “brain dead” patients
who unexpectedly recovered follows:

* Brain dead’ woman recovers after husband refuses to withdraw life
* Woman Diagnosed as “Brain Dead” Walks and Talks after Awakening
* ‘Brain dead’ Quebec woman wakes up after family refuses organ donation
* Doctor Says about “Brain Dead” Man Saved from Organ Harvesting –
“Brain Death is Never Really Death”
* Doctors Who Almost Dissected Living Patient Confess Ignorance about Actual
Moment of Death
* New study questions “brain-death” criterion for organ donation
* Coma Recovery After 19 Years Poses Questions About Terri Schiavo
* Polish Man Wakes from 19-Year “Coma”, Talks and Expected to Walk Soon
* Man Wakes from Two-Year Coma – was Aware and Remembers Everything
* Boy in “Hopeless” Vegetative State Awakens and Steadily Improves
* Commentary: The Significance of that Case of the Man Trapped in a
“Coma” for 23 Years
* Girl Once Comatose and Scheduled for Euthanasia Will Testify against
* ‘Comatose’ UK Man Chooses Life by Moving Eyes
* Woman’s Waking After Brain Death Raises Many Questions About Organ
* Russian Surgeons Removing Organs Saying Patients Almost Dead Anyway
* Denver Coroner Rules “Homicide” in Organ-Donor Case

Related link:

The boy who came back from the dead: Experts said car crash teen was beyond
hope. His parents disagreed

Michelle Joseph
t. 011 648 5860
m. 082 609 6919

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