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iobox » Blog Archive » Do the “brain dead” still feel pain?
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Do the “brain dead” still feel pain?

January 15, 2008 – 3:47 pm

I came across an article from August 2000 which merits another read after recent debates regarding whether or not organs should be removed from ones body without explicit consent. I’m afraid the original Guardian article is no longer available, but a comment article from ABC in Australia does get the point across.

Do the clinically dead still feel pain? When a doctor states that you are dead, the general assumption is that that is it. It is an end. You are no more. However, an editorial in Anaesthesia the journal of the Royal College of Anaesthetists  urges for anaesthetics be used in all situations where organs are being removed from a patient.

It is felt that someone who is clinically brain dead can still experience pain. It is a fact that if a patient is not sedated during the organ extraction procedure, an alarming and dramatic response from the body can be observed. Pulse and blood pressure shoot up when the first cut is made and the “dead” patient can sometimes wriggle about to the point where it becomes impossible to operate.

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