Medicine: Are Some Patients Being Done In?

British show on brain death angers doctors, upsets public

In Coma, the bestselling novel that became a hit movie, greedy physicians have a nifty racket going: in order to acquire valuable organs for transplant surgery, they slip patients into unconsciousness, then declare them irreversibly braindamaged. If a recent television program in Britain were to be believed, Coma is not so far off the mark. The show, part of the BBC'S Panorama program, asked the question Transplants: Are the Donors Really Dead? The shocking answer: maybe not.

Panorama arrived at its conclusion after examining methods used by doctors to determine "brain death." The concept...

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