‘Brain dead’ Quebec woman wakes up after family refuses organ donation


“If we had decided to donate her organs, they would have killed her,” said her son.

LifeSiteNews ^ | 7/7/11 | Rebecca Millette

Posted on quinta-feira, 7 de julho de 2011 19:55:43 by wagglebee

DROMMONDVILLE, Quebec, July 5, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Last week, Madeleine Gauron, a Quebec woman identified as viable for organ donation after doctors diagnosed her as “brain dead,” surprised her family and physicians when she recovered from a coma, opened her eyes, and began eating.


The 76-year-old woman was hospitalized at the Hospital Sainte Croix de Drummondville for an inflammation of the gums, which required a brief operation.  During her recovery, hospital staff gave the elderly woman solid food, which she had been unable to consume in her family home for some time, and left her unattended.  Choking on the food, she fell into a coma, after unsuccessful resuscitation.


Medical staff contacted her family, explaining to them that their mother was “brain dead,” with no hope of recovery.  Citing Gauron’s eyes as particularly viable, the doctors asked if the family would agree to organ donation.


While supporting the possibility of donation, her shocked family first demanded further medical tests to prove Gauron was really dead.


The next day, the family was astonished to learn that Gauron had awakened.  Shortly afterwards, she sat up in bed and ate yogurt.


“If we had decided to donate her organs, they would have killed her,” said her son.


“It makes no sense to treat people like that. Although she is 76 years old and is ill, she did not have to suffer all this,” insisted her daughter.


Madeleine Gauron is now able to eat, walk and talk, and immediately recognized her family. Her children have decided to take legal action against the hospital.


As anecdotes similar to Gauron’s continue to pile up, “brain death” as a legitimate diagnosis of actual death is increasingly being questioned by concerned family members and medical professionals, some of whom have charged that the “brain death” criteria was created simply to ensure that harvested organs are fresh.


Currently, more than half of Swedish intensive care nurses who care for purportedly brain dead patients have doubts about methods for establishing brain death, according to a recent survey released by Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg.


While regulations require Swedish physicians to ascertain brain death through particular clinical tests, further analysis in conjunction with brain x-rays are only done for select patients.


The author of the thesis, Anne Flodén, a registered nurse and researcher at the Institute of Health and Care Sciences, said the outcome of the study was problematic, indicating the need for clear guidelines surrounding the process of diagnosis and organ donation.


“This problem was raised by many of the ICU nurses in several of the studies,” said Flodén. “They were disappointed in the lack of structure and guidelines and are therefore calling for more support from management on these issues.”


Related Stories

‘Brain dead’ woman recovers after husband refuses to withdraw life support

No ‘moral certainty’ that brain death is really death: prominent Catholic ethics professor Brugger

“Brain Death” is Life, Not Death: Neurologists, Philosophers, Neonatologists, Jurists, and Bioethici

“Brain Death” Test Causes Brain Necrosis and Kills Patients: Neurologist to Rome Conference

“Brain Death” as Criteria for Organ Donation is a “Deception”: Bereaved Mother


Morte encefálica: teste da apnéia mata o paciente “potencial” doador de órgãos – Neurologista Dr. Cícero Galli Coimbra na Conferência de Roma de fevereiro de 2009

A mídia brasileira — cúmplice do genocídio praticado na medicina — não noticiou a Conferência de Roma de fevereiro de 2009.

Celso Galli Coimbra – OABRS 11352


“Brain Death” Test Causes Brain Necrosis and Kills Patients: Neurologist to Rome Conference

By Hilary White – Rome correspondent


ROME, February 25, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – One of the medical world’s key diagnostic tools for determining “brain death” preliminary to organ retrieval, actually causes the severe brain damage it purports to determine, neurologist Dr. Cicero Coimbra told attendees at a conference held in Rome last week. With the so-called “apnoea test,” Coimbra said, brain damaged patients who might be recoverable are deprived of oxygen for up to ten minutes, rendering the injuries to the brain irreversible.

“Diagnostic protocols for brain death actually induce death in patients who could recover to normal life by receiving timely and scientifically based therapies,” Dr. Coimbra, head of the Neurology and Neurosurgery Department at the Federal University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, told the participants at the “Signs of Life” conference on “brain death.”

Addressing an assembly of about 170 physicians, philosophers, ethicists, lawyers, students, journalists, and clergy, including two Catholic cardinals, Dr. Coimbra said that it is the apnoea test, routinely applied to patients who have suffered acute brain injuries, that frequently causes “brain necrosis,” or permanent and irrecoverable brain damage that is accepted as “brain death”.

The test is applied in emergency rooms or ICUs, often with an “organ procurement agent” standing by to ask relatives for approval for organ retrieval. A patient who needs assistance breathing is removed from the ventilator for up to ten minutes, cutting off oxygen to the brain and slowing the heart rate. If the patient fails to begin breathing without assistance after this time, he is declared “brain dead” and his organs may be legally removed.

Since the world-wide adoption of the “brain death” criteria, developed at Harvard University in 1968, Dr. Coimbra said, The lives of thousands of human beings, including children, adolescents and young adults, are lost every year in each country.”

The premise of the standard Harvard Criteria for “brain death” is that lack of brain function implies absence of blood circulation to the brain, which is what causes brain necrosis, or the irreversible death of brain cells. But since the definition of the Harvard Criteria, he explained, medical scientists have discovered that the absence of discernable brain function cited by the criteria is not the same as “brain necrosis,” or true brain death. In many cases where there is no discernable brain activity, patients have recovered with appropriate treatment.

Dr. Coimbra cited one study supported by the National Institutes of Health in 1975, that found that of 226 comatose patients determined to be “brain dead” for at least 48 hours, only 50 percent were later found to have “pathological signs of necrosis.” 21 percent of the patients had no signs of dead brain cells. Even patients who show no signs of synaptic activity, a condition of the “brain death” diagnosis, are still recoverable at that point.

For patients, he explained, with only less serious brain damage, who are submitted to the apnoea test, “the test will cause total necrosis of the brain.” The apnoea test increases carbon dioxide concentrations in the blood. This increases the inter-cranial pressure and causes final reduction of the brain circulation.

But, Dr. Coimbra said, the information that the apnoea test causes severe, irreversible brain damage, is being suppressed. Even with this knowledge of the danger of the apnoea test and the fact that some patients who are declared brain dead can and frequently have recovered, the legal definition of “brain death” is itself irreversible.

He told the conference of an experience in his clinical practice as a neurologist involving a 15 year-old girl with a severe brain trauma. She was declared “brain dead” but he treated her with thyroid hormones and she began to recover. She started breathing and having seizures, he said. “But a ‘dead’ brain cannot seize. That brain cannot express convulsions and she was having convulsions.This meant that a diagnosis of “brain death” even according to the Harvard Criteria, did not apply.

“And so I went to the doctors in the ICU that, up to that time, were denying proper care to that patient under the assumption that she was brain dead.” One of the attending physicians in the ICU, he relates, wrote on the girl’s chart that even recovery could not reverse a legal definition of “brain death.”

The physician wrote the following statement, a photocopy of which was shown at the conference: “If the diagnostic criteria for a brain death are fulfilled at a certain time, the person is legally dead no matter whether those criteria become no longer fulfilled later on.”

This incident showed, he said, that medical professionals attending patients officially declared “brain dead” “feel at risk” of legal action from families.

“That is why there is such a fearful repression when we start talking about those subjects in medical forums.”

Read related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:

“Brain Death” as Criteria for Organ Donation is a “Deception”: Bereaved Mother

Doctor Says about “Brain Dead” Man Saved from Organ Harvesting – “Brain Death is Never Really Death”

Pope Warns Organ Transplant Conference of Abuses of Death Criteria
Says, “In the question of determination of death there must not be the slightest suspicion of arbitrariness”


Transplantes: Revista dos Anestesistas recomenda em Editorial realização de anestesia geral nos doadores para que não sintam dor durante a retirada de seus órgãos. Se estão mortos para que a recomendação de anestesia geral?https://biodireitomedicina.wordpress.com/2009/01/05/transplantes-revista-dos-anestesistas-recomenda-em-editorial-realizacao-de-anestesia-geral-nos-doadores-para-que-nao-sintam-dor-durante-a-retirada-de-seus-orgaos-se-estao-mortos-para-que-a-recomend/

Transplantes e morte cerebral. L’Osservatore Romano rompe o tabu

Conferência “Signs of Life” pode começar a mudar a opinião do Vaticano sobre “morte encefálica”. Professor Josef Seifert, membro da Pontifical Academy of Life

Os livros:

Roberto de Mattei (ed.), Finis Vitae. Is Brain Death Still Life?”, Rubbettino, Soveria Mannelli, 2006, 336 pp., 35.00 euros.


Finis Vitae. La morte cerebrale è ancora vita?, organizado por Roberto de Mattei, Rubbettino, Soveria Mannelli, 2007, pp. 482, € 35.


Paolo Becchi, Morte cerebrale e trapianto di organi. Una questione di etica giuridica, Morcelliana, Brescia, 2008, pp. 198, € 12,50.



Leia também outras referências sobre o mesmo assunto:

Transplantes: Revista dos Anestesistas recomenda em Editorial realização de anestesia geral nos doadores para que não sintam dor durante a retirada de seus órgãos. Se estão mortos para que a recomendação de anestesia geral?

” IF a person was not dead, they should not be baving their organs taken away.”

Se uma pessoa não está morta, não deveria ter seus órgãos retirados.

” IF a patient is not sedated during procedures to remove heart, lung, liver and pancreas, there is often an alarming and dramatic response from the body”

Se um paciente não está sedado durante os procedimentos para remover coração, pulmão, fígado e pancreas, há freguentemente uma alarmante e dramatica reação de seu corpo.


Artigo publicado na Revista Ciência Hoje, número 161

Expressamente proíbida a reprodução deste artigo em qualquer publicação eletrônica ou não.

Endereço deste artigo neste espaço:


Editorial da Revista Ciência Hoje, número 161:


Artigo original: https://biodireitomedicina.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/revista-ciencia_hoje-morte-encefalica.pdf


Editorial da Revista dos Anestesistas do Royal College of Anaesthetists da Inglaterra, de maio de 2000:


Leia também no site da UNIFESP:





Revista de Neurociência da UNIFESP, de agosto de 1998:


Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research (1999) 32: 1479-1487 ISSN 0100-879X – “Implications of ischemic penumbra for the diagnosis of brain death”:


Revista BMJ – British Medical Journal – debate internacional onde não foi demonstrada a validade dos critérios declaratóricos de morte vigentes:


Morte encefálica: o teste da apnéia somente é feito se houver a intenção de matar o paciente


Morte encefálica: carta do Professor Flavio Lewgoy


A morte encefálica é uma invenção recente


Morte encefálica: A honestidade é a melhor política


Morte encefálica: O temor tem fundamento na razão


Morte encefálica: Carta do Dr. César Timo-Iaria dirigida ao CFM acusando os erros declaratórios deste prognóstico de morte


Referências correlacionadas:









A change of heart and a change of mind? Technology and the redefinition of death in 1968


Morte Suspeita – Editorial do Jornal do Brasil de 01.03.1999, Caderno Brasil, página 08


A dura realidade do tráfico de órgãos

Seminário sobre Morte Encefálica e Transplantes de 20.05.2003 na Assembléia Legislativa do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul


Redefinindo morte: um novo dilema ético – publicado em 19 de janeiro de 2009, na Revista American Medical News


“Brain Death” — Enemy of Life and Truth


Movimento contesta uso do critério da morte cerebral – “Brain Death” — Enemy of Life and Truth


“Morte encefálica” — Inimiga da Vida e da Verdade – Declaração internacional em oposição à “morte encefálica” e ao transplante de órgãos vitais únicos


Tráfico de órgãos é uma realidade comprovada no Brasil e no exterior


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