Debate on removing organs in the case of “cardiac arrest”

Publié le : 19 February 2013

 On the initiative of the National Assembly and the Biomedicine Agency, public hearings were organised in the subject of removing organs in the case of "cardiac arrest". In concrete terms, "everything crystallises around patients, often brain-dead, hospitalised in reanimation units" and dependent on machines. The journalist points out that the latter will be "logically" shut down and "then cardiac arrest will occur as medicine can no longer do anything.

According to Professor Jean-Louis Touraine, Socialist Party member for the Rhône department, "it is from these patients that organs could be taken, just after cardiac arrest." However, the question arises of the "time between stopping the treatments and death." Laurent Beydon, from the French Society of Anaesthesia and Reanimation, thinks that there is a real risk here, that of "moving towards useful death, whereby we accelerate the death to remove organs in good conditions." The journalist adds: "to prevent any pain, a sedation will be prescribed" once the machines are stopped. While Dutch, Belgian and British experts claim that in their country "everything goes well," Bruno Riou, head of the emergency unit at La Pitié hospital (Paris), emphasises two limits that must be respected: the first is "to remove organs only from dead patients." But, he points out, "in the United States this is not always the case." The second is "never to accelerate the patient’s death.

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