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More Brains Needed

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the we're-not-unreasonable-I-mean-no-one's-gonna-eat-your-eyes dept.

Science 232

Hugh Pickens writes "BBC reports that more people need to donate their brains to medical research if cures for diseases like dementia are to be found and are urging healthy people as well as those with brain disorders to become donors. 'For autism, we only have maybe 15 or 20 brains that have been donated that we can do our research on. That is drastically awful,' said Dr Payam Rezaie of the Neuropathology Research Laboratory at the Open University. 'We would need at least 100 cases to get meaningful data. A lot of research is being hindered by this restriction.' Part of the problem, according to Professor Margaret Esiri at the University of Oxford, may be that people are reluctant to donate their brains because they see the organ as the basis of their identity. 'It used to be other parts of the body that we thought were important,' says Esin. 'But now people realize that their brain is the crucial thing that gives them their mind and their self.' Dr Kieran Breen, of the Parkinson's Disease Society, said over 90% of the brains in their bank at Imperial College London were from patients, with the remaining 10% of 'healthy' brains donated by friends or relatives of patients. 'Some people are under the impression that if they sign up for a donor card that will include donating their brain for research. But it won't,' says Breen. 'Donor cards are about donating organs for transplant, not for medical science.'"

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Doctors, Researchers, Get Your Brains, Quick! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26378151)

Before people get any stupider!

Re:Doctors, Researchers, Get Your Brains, Quick! (4, Funny)

Anthony_Cargile (1336739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378949)

Hey, I resemble that remark!

Over my dead body! (5, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378181)

You can have my brain when you pry it from my cold, dead...

Oh wait.

Re:Over my dead body! (3, Insightful)

steelcaress (1389111) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378795)

Y'know, they never really specified whether the donated brains were from the living or the dead...

Anyone remember the Live Organ Donor skit from Monty Python?

Re:Over my dead body! (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26379333)

Actually, live brains are sometimes used in medical research, usually embryonic. I've read papers that talk about observing human embryonic cortical development in culture. Naturally, the sources for those brains are not well publicized.

Re:Over my dead body! (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26379345)

Edit: shouldn't have said "usually embryonic." What I meant was that was the only time I had run across live human brain tissue in use.

Re:Over my dead body! (4, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 5 years ago | (#26379739)

Naturally, the sources for those brains are not well publicized.

I suspect they'd be from inside heads.

Re:Over my dead body! (5, Funny)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 5 years ago | (#26379875)

Naturally, the sources for those brains are not well publicized.

I suspect they'd be from inside heads.

Those are female brains then.

Re:Over my dead body! (3, Interesting)

duguk (589689) | more than 5 years ago | (#26379423)

Heh :o) In all seriousness, I've actually already filled in the forms to donate my brain to the MRC London Brain Bank for Neurodegenerative Diseases. [kcl.ac.uk]

It's not like it's going to be much to use to me. Just hoping they'll still be around, since I'm hoping it'll still be some way off.

Re:Over my dead body! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26378799)

Shoot, we were planning on getting it warm and alive.

Now hold still...

Re: Your brains (2, Insightful)

Rei (128717) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378943)

Is anybody else here thinking of Jonathan Coulton's Re: Your Brains [youtube.com] ?

Heya, Tom' its Bob from the office down the hall
Good to see you, buddy; howve you been?
Thing have been OK for me except that Im a zombie now
I really wish youd let us in
I think I speak for all of us when I say I understand
Why you folks might hesitate to submit to our demand
But heres an FYI: youre all gonna die, screaming

(chorus)
  (zombies) "All we want to do is eat your brains!"
  Were not unreasonable; I mean, no ones gonna eat your eyes
  All we want to do is eat your brains
  Were at an impasse here; maybe we should compromise:
  If you open up the doors
  Well all come inside and eat your brains!

I dont want to nitpick, Tom, but is this really your plan?
To spend your whole life locked inside a mall?
Maybe thats OK for now but someday youll be out of food and guns
And then youll have to make the call
Im not surprised to see you havent thought it through enough
You never had the head for all that bigger picture stuff
But, Tom, thats what I do, and I plan on eating you, slowly

(chorus)
  (zombies) "All we want to do is eat your brains!"
  Were not unreasonable; I mean, no ones gonna eat your eyes
  All we want to do is eat your brains
  Were at an impasse here; maybe we should compromise:
  If you open up the doors
  Well all come inside and eat your brains!

  Id like to help you, Tom, in any way I can
  I sure appreciate the way youre working with me
  Im not a monster, Tom...well, technically, I am
  I guess I am

Ive got another meeting, Tom; maybe we could wrap it up
I know well get to common ground somehow
Meanwhile Ill report back to my colleagues who were chewing on the doors
I guess well table this for now
Im glad to see you take constructive criticism well
Thank you for your time; I know were all busy as hell
And well put this thing to bed
When I bash your head open

(chorus)
  (zombies)"All we want to do is eat your brains!"
  Were not unreasonable; I mean, no ones gonna eat your eyes
  All we want to do is eat your brains
  Were at an impasse here; maybe we should compromise:
  If you open up the doors
  Well all come inside and eat your brains!

Re:Over my dead body! (3, Funny)

nohup (26783) | more than 5 years ago | (#26379705)

'Some people are under the impression that if they sign up for a donor card that will include donating their brain for research. But it won't,' says Breen.

Does anyone else feel a uncomfortable at just doing what Dr. Breen says?

Take Mine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26378185)

They can take mine. I'm not using it. Or so I'm told.

Re:Take Mine (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26378429)

I'm told I have shit for brains, so I'm donating mine to local gardening enthusiasts.

Many fear cost... (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378263)

...I know I do. I've heard horror stories over and over again about how donating your body to science means racking up large bills for your family.

Offer me a 'cheaper than being buried' option, and I'd consider it.

Re:Many fear cost... (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378333)

I've not heard those horror stories. I sort of expected it would be free.

Re:Many fear cost... (2, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378645)

The only cost I've ever heard of is if you want to donate it to some far away medical school, you have to pay to transport it there. Other than that, it should be free.

Of course, I don't want to donate my body to medical science because I am uncomfortable with the idea of all those medical students laughing^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hstaring in awe at my junk.

Re:Many fear cost... (2, Funny)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26379387)

Are you sure it was "donating your body" and not "paying the mafia to take a dead body away?"

Re:Many fear cost... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26379991)

In late 2001, someone close to me died and the cost was over $12k for a plot, vault, casket, marker, viewing, and funeral.

What is the cost to extract and ship a brain?

Re:Many fear cost... (1)

Terminal Saint (668751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26380489)

Really? I've heard it means an advance of knowledge and a free cremation.

Re:Many fear cost... (1)

jeffasselin (566598) | more than 5 years ago | (#26380533)

Here in Canada, at least, you can give your body to science (I have a will that says it's what I want for myself). They use it for whatever needs, keep organs they can use, and return the rest incinerated. No cost anywhere there.

I for one (1)

rjhubs (929158) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378327)

welcome our future zombie overlords and have already donated my brain to them.. (Sorry science!)

Just for the record (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26378343)

Hm, i would certainly feel better if the text would explicitly state it's about DEAD brains ;)

Re:Just for the record (2, Funny)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#26379015)

Well, If they can keep it alive outside your body, all the better it allow them in the future to put you in a robotic body with lasers and guns and you only malfunction when you start seeing your family.

Uses of donation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26378351)

Donor cards are about donating organs for transplant, not for medical science.'"

Not according to mine (Ontario, circa 1996):

... OR if my organs cannot be used, I would like to donate my body for the purpose of medical education or research to the School of Anatomy at...

Newer cards don't even have the OR, it just says that you basically donate your body for use however they want.

If he doesn't like it, he should be campaigning to have the cards changed to include research, not just making public appeals.

won't someone THINK of the children!? (3, Funny)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378361)

ie, I bet they have all the adult brains they need. how about some child brains?

"think of the children"

come on, kids. some of you are not using yours. can't you help the good cause out?

I gave at the office (4, Funny)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378367)

It's not that I don't want to donate my brain, it's just that I've already promised other people that I would have my brain cryogenically frozen so that I can be resurrected at some point in the future, and I'd hate to let those people down.

Re:I gave at the office (3, Funny)

Icarus1919 (802533) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378751)

Promising is not a synonym for threatening.

Re:I gave at the office (5, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#26379183)

I've already promised other people that I would have my brain cryogenically frozen so that I can be resurrected at some point in the future

Ah, you must be a Cobol programmer.

Re:I gave at the office (1, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 5 years ago | (#26380231)

Ah, you must be a Cobol programmer.

Not quite... [wikipedia.org]

wah. (1)

thhamm (764787) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378369)

More Brains Needed! yah here too. desperately.

Grow up (4, Insightful)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378409)

When you're dead, you're dead. It's not like your brain wont be rotting in the ground anyway.

Get over the fact that the universe doesn't care about you and help science!

Re:Grow up (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378969)

Make it as easy as donating organs to help people and they wouldn't have a problem.

Its not like most people care one bit about what happens to them once the doctors give up on resuscitation, I know I don't.

As others have said, if they lobbied to have research included in the general organ donation then there wouldn't be any problem at all.

Re:Grow up (3, Funny)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26379405)

Get over the fact that the universe doesn't care about you and help science!

When you put it that way... fuck the universe, I'm keeping it!

Re:Grow up (3, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#26379795)

It's not like your brain wont be rotting in the ground anyway.

Some people's brains are getting a head start on rotting.

Re:Grow up (1)

synaptic (4599) | more than 5 years ago | (#26380061)

Except the atoms that I'm borrowing to live will be reconstituted in other life. In effect, I will be reincarnated as many different lifeforms.

Given a choice between continuing that cycle and either having my brain sit in a jar of formaldahyde (or sliced up into slides), I'll take the former.

Donor Cards (5, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378411)

'Some people are under the impression that if they sign up for a donor card that will include donating their brain for research. But it won't,' says Breen. 'Donor cards are about donating organs for transplant, not for medical science.'"

Well to be honest, I have always kinda hoped that having my donor card would mean they might transplant my brain...

Re:Donor Cards (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26378687)

I first filled out an organ donor card in high school, when a student in my speech class was giving orations advocating organ donation and passing out the cards. I don't have that card anymore, but I remember it had multiple choices on it. You could choose between "any needed organs or parts" and just an enumerated list. You could also choose between donating for transplantation and/or donating for research.
So maybe they just need to improve the cards people are signing.

Re:Donor Cards (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378953)

I've always thought the problem was that it's an opt-in system, and that the relatives seem to often be able to over-rule what the person selected on their drivers license.

I think we should make it opt-out. There would be so many more organs available for research and transplant, we could save quite a few lives.

Re:Donor Cards (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26379459)

I think we should make it opt-out. There would be so many more organs available for research and transplant, we could save quite a few lives.

Well one particularly stupid and annoying argument I could see some particularly stupid and annoying and coincidentally persuasive individuals making is that evil/liberal doctors would then euthanize people to harvest their organs.

Probably the more likely reason it's opt-in instead of opt-out is the inevitable greedy lawsuits that "grieving" families would pursue. "He totally had an opt out card at home in a shoebox under his bed, but they took his liver anyway! Poor Johnny wanted to be intact for the great resurection! I want 50 million dollars!"

Laws SHOULD be passed setting up an opt-out database and mandating that if you're not in that and don't have the opt-out signed on your DL, your family cannot sue for that.

Mmmm, Brains (1)

telchine (719345) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378459)

The main problem I have with donating body parts for scientific research is that I don't want silly medical students using bits of me to play pranks on each other!

Re:Mmmm, Brains (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26378517)

Look at me, I'm Davy Crockett!!

Re:Mmmm, Brains (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26378861)

I already saw your vest.

Re:Mmmm, Brains (5, Funny)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378553)

The main problem I have with donating body parts for scientific research is that I don't want silly medical students using bits of me to play pranks on each other!

Are you kidding?! Biohazardous pranks are hilarious! How can you not donate to that cause?!

Re:Mmmm, Brains (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378767)

I dunno. I kinda like the idea of my dead body parts causing a few laughs, after I am dead.

Toe in a taco? Butt in a burger?

I just hope that this doesn't increase medical students appetite for human flesh.

Re:Mmmm, Brains (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26379481)

I just hope that this doesn't increase medical students appetite for human flesh.

A student's gotta eat too... ;-)

Re:Mmmm, Brains (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 5 years ago | (#26379045)

Bah!!!

Play is one of the best ways to learn.

Besides, you sound a little paranoid. Oh No!! Someone may ............ ok, I can't even figure out what kind of prank a medical student may play with my old organs. Seriously, you may just be abit paranoid, relax a little.

offering any money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26378527)

They offering any cash incentive?

I'd sign up for a

More Brains Needed (2, Funny)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378531)

They certainly are. Unfortunately, the trend seems to be the in the other direction. Especially among politicians.

Braaains... (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378585)

Someone's been playing Left 4 Dead too much I think!

What about cadavers? (1)

JumperCable (673155) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378623)

The medical students are practicing with dead bodies all the time. Why can't those brains?

Re:What about cadavers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26378933)

Because brain dissection is part of their anatomy learning experience.

Who Knew??? (3, Funny)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378637)

Medical Researchers were zombies? ANYONE???

No way (3, Interesting)

symes (835608) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378667)

I'll only donote my brain if it's smashed up with a hammer first [bbc.co.uk] - or some L33t h4ck3r5 might steal my secrets and credit card numbers!

Re:No way (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26379377)

That's why I'm donating mine to 'Will it Blend?'.

Re:No way (1)

RockWolf (806901) | more than 5 years ago | (#26380359)

That's why I'm donating mine to 'Will it Blend?'.

Will It Blend - Hannibal Lecter edition.

Easy option (0, Flamebait)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378673)

I'm sure if they asked the Chinese government they could get some brains from executed prisoners.

Re:Easy option (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 5 years ago | (#26380419)

The Chinese execute most prisoners by a single rifle bullet to the back of the head. The brain would therefore be useless.

Re:Easy option (2, Funny)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26380545)

I'm sure they could make an exception, like shooting at the gut. Sure, it's more painful and a slow way to die but if money is to be made then they should just suck it up for the greatness of their country.

Packing Instructions (3, Funny)

jayrtfm (148260) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378699)

If you are going to donate a brain, there are recommended packing instructions [columbia.edu] .
And don't risk using UPS, since Sterling Courier Systems is the pathologist's preferred shipper.

Cooking Instructions? (2, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378967)

They seem to be missing.

Flawed assumptions (3, Funny)

Linux_ho (205887) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378715)

'It used to be other parts of the body that we thought were important,' says Esin. 'But now people realize that their brain is the crucial thing that gives them their mind and their self.'

That's not necessarily true. For example, I do a lot of thinking with another part of my anatomy. Ask anyone.

Healthy as well as with brain disorders? (5, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378719)

What if I'm not quite certain which category I belong in?

use a Hammer.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26378731)

WAIT! what about piracy? The ONLY way to take care of privacy concerns is to "smash with a hammer"

This is a total cover up (1)

KiwiCanuck (1075767) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378881)

Don't you watch late night TV? The real reason is that the donated brains are going to zombie research (trying to recreate zombie Jesus). There aren't enough brains left over to do non-zombie research.

Obvious solution (3, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378885)

Replace the removed brain with an electronic brain. A simple one would suffice. All it would have to do is say "What?" and "Where's the tea?"

Re:Obvious solution (2, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378985)

Replace the removed brain with an electronic brain. A simple one would suffice

A 6502 would be ideal.

Re:Obvious solution (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#26379469)

Replace the removed brain with an electronic brain. A simple one would suffice

A 6502 would be ideal.

It worked for Ahnold.

ObZombie... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26378901)

Braaaiiinnnsss...

Oh, and:

http://brains4zombies.com/ [brains4zombies.com]

(just for fun)

contact your local medical school (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26378909)

My mom had completed the paperwork to donate her body to the local medical school before she found out she had a rare degenerative (untreatable and invariably fatal) neuromuscular disorder. in her consultations with the neurology team at the local school, they determined that the leading research team was at another major university, so they just added that school to the paperwork to receive her brain and spinal cord. other than completing the paperwork, signing it and advising her next of kin, the process was seamless. the funeral home guys picked her up after she died and we gave them the paperwork. the university guys took it from there.
easy. and very satisfying.

Specifically... (1)

Kyru (836008) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378965)

We need more like the ones from this gal named Abby Normal.

And how does that make you feel? (1)

mouse_8b (854310) | more than 5 years ago | (#26378989)

IANANeuroscientist (yet?, wish me luck), so I don't really know how science experiments on brains. Is it simple observation of brain physiology, or do they actually "zap" it a little and see what neural pathways are activated?
If it gets zapped, an interesting philosophical question arises. If consciousness is an emergent property of a neural network, then would activating a small network bring some small fraction of consciousness to a brain? I realize that if this was the case, it would be on a very low level, maybe not even comparable to the lowest vertebrates. I also realize perception is immeasurable, but if, while alive, I can retrieve a memory and re-experience a stimulus, could a dead brain "remember" things that had been stored to memory while living? Could new memories be created?

Re:And how does that make you feel? (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#26379671)

If consciousness is an emergent property of a neural network, then would activating a small network bring some small fraction of consciousness to a brain?

"It's starting to roll."
"Shit!"

"Bring in the L.E.D. Lock it down."

"He's on."
"What's the story?"
"We saved the left arm."
"What? We agreed on total body prosthesis. Now lose the arm."
"Jesus, Morton."
"Can he understand?"
"We'll blank his memory, anyway."
"We should lose the arm. What do you think?"
"He signed a release when he joined the force. And he's dead. We can do pretty much what we want."
"Lose the arm."
"Shut him down. Prep him for surgery."

Re:And how does that make you feel? (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 5 years ago | (#26380643)

Early in the 19th century, when experiments using electricity really were blossoming, there was a common belief that electricity was a sort of life force (or at least related to life), since a muscle would contract when shocked. While it's true that neurons use electrical charge for some portion of their communications, it's a separate thing from bringing them back to life. It's not like you could power a brain back up by running a few microvolts through it, or something. If any of the cells are still alive, you may start a flurry of communication between them. The brain is essentially a huge collection of pattern-matching "circuits", chaotically interconnected. I doubt that the communication generated would be terribly meaningful.

To be fair.... (2, Insightful)

Klootzak (824076) | more than 5 years ago | (#26379003)

Trying to cure Autism is like trying to cure innate stupiditity, I have serious doubts you'll be able to change the neurological wiring with any efficacy.

Certain learning techniques can be used to improve synaptic formation in those with a lower amount of total neurons, thus increasing their mental capacity somewhat, which works for some of those individuals born with below-average intelligence. But how do you fix someone with "too many"?

Of course, currently, most Psychologists/Psychiatrists work on the concept of treatment with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and/or drug treatment:
"Now Jimmy, if people are WRONG, just go along with it and pretend they aren't, and here, have some SSRIs, we dont' know if these will fuck you up for life, but it's easier on everyone else if we give you pills".

How about we just lobotomize [wikipedia.org] them all instead? Sound good?!
The sentance above is an example of hostile sarcasm.

Anyway, I'm more than happy to donate any bits of me that Medical Research can use!
Disclaimer: I'm not a Neurologist/Neurosurgeon/Neuropsychiatrist - happy for anyone else to correct me if I'm incorrect somewhere and they've got the knowledge.

Re:To be fair.... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26380699)

I would hardly underestimate the difficulty of doing so(since we certainly haven't had resounding success thus far); but in principle there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to change neurological wiring. After all, you grew from scratch whatever neurological wiring you currently have, and are constantly adding and pruning.

We are unlikely to be able to do much without substantially greater understanding of how the brain works; but brains are really, really plastic, so we have every reason to believe that, once we know where the levers are, and how they should be set, we can do all kinds of cool stuff.

Ethics, line 1... (2, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26379035)

I have known several nurses, and many more in the helping professions, and their advice has been universally the same to me: Never get an organ donor card. Never. This is for two reasons. The first is that there is a huge shortage of tissue across the board. The second is that most of the hospital staff knows this and they aren't going to work as hard to save your life if you've got one of those organ donor cards. My friends have actually overheard doctors talking and saying to the effect of -- "Well, he kinda screwed himself here, hitting that other car head on at 80 MPH. Damn drunk. We could spend $40k in surgery on a 1 in 7 chance that he'll survive, or we can take his organs now and be 85% sure it was the right choice to make. And the surgeon's already put fifteen hours in today! I don't want to be the one to tell him he's got another four hours before he can go home for this bonehead..."

These people make triage decisions every day. Don't take this personally, but you aren't a person laying on the table but a machine that's broken. You're just like a thousand other lumps of flesh that come through the doors every day. Don't think you're special. Do. Not. Real life is not like those campy medical/reality TV shows you laugh along with. There are no witty one liners, there is no epic drama where the doctor comes in and realizes it's some rare disease from bum fuck egypt with a cursory glance. There's just a lot of really tired people with a dark and dry sense of humor, who live on caffeine, try not to make any big mistakes, and hope their significant other will put up with the long hours and 4am emergency pages for just a few more years until they pay off their student loans.

That doesn't mean they don't care, or that they're ghoulish devils come to suck your precious organs. But it does mean-- don't put that sticker on your license. They don't know you. They don't care. There's a thousand other people behind you and a thousand more ahead of you and they have a job to do. No. I'm not lying. No this isn't an urban legend. No I didn't hear this from a friend of a friend, I heard this directly from the mouths of the people who can point out names and faces of the people who have said stuff like this--Just so we're clear. I'm not trying to scare you, I have no hidden agenda. If you really want to be an organ donor, tell your friends and family, have it in your will, tell them where it is, and make sure they're clear that it's what you really want and you'll come back and haunt their ass if they don't make your last requests. Just don't put it on your license.

Re:Ethics, line 1... (4, Insightful)

Chris_Jefferson (581445) | more than 5 years ago | (#26379389)

Well I know lots of members of the medical profession, and I can say this is total rubbish, for 3 reasons: 1) Doctors appreciate organ doners. They know very little about you when you are rushed in, but if they know you are a doner they know something good about you. 2) There has been rumours of doctors getting in trouble for doing just what you say, and no-one wants to risk getting in trouble, so they err on the side of caution. 3) Why the heck would a doctor decide to not do an expensive operation? The hospital gets paid when they do expensive operations. I can honestly say YOU are scaremongering, and in the process possibly risking other people's lives. If you do die, getting the organs as quickly as possible is crucial, so your scaremongering could well kill people, and that makes you a shit. Sorry.

Re:Ethics, line 1... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26379633)

Point 1: She didn't say they don't appreciate organ donors, she said they won't try as hard to save you because of a good chance of you dying anyway. As well as you may have been a drunk driver and they have passed judgement on you to save other people with your organs that may not be as stupid.
  Point 2: I know plenty of doctors that have been in trouble for stupid stuff, and as long as the doctors are saying it around people that aren't their boss or a reliable witness they can say whatever they want and deny it later, it's about proving it.
  Point 3: Most hospitals get paid very little compared to what the procedure actually costs. Our clinic gets 5 dollars, yes FIVE dollars for every vasectomy we do because of the other money the state provides in grants and such. That's why hospitals over charge insurance for other things like aspirin, to make up for the money they lost on the expensive operation that they didn't get paid for.

Re:Ethics, line 1... (1)

devotedlhasa (1298843) | more than 5 years ago | (#26379607)

You could also make the argument that they will try harder to save you as an organ donor. Dead tissue isn't very useful for transplantation.
...although...dead tissue does work great for medical school. For some of you it could be the first time a woman will your penis.

Re:Ethics, line 1... (1)

rxan (1424721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26379647)

I'm not trying to scare you

Holy crap man. Before reading this post I was all for donating my entire body to transplants or medical research. But you've certainly given me a good case of paranoia.

There should be a clause on donor cards for "Only donate my body if I'm going to die for sure. Like really really sure. Like please, please, triple-please save me before donation!"

Re:Ethics, line 1... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26380669)

Holy crap man.

Dude, her name is "girlintraining."

Oh, wait a minute...

Re:Ethics, line 1... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26379665)

err..wait.

Having been in the medical field for a while, from my complete experience, this is nonsense. I can't remember the last hospital I visited in the eastern side of the United States that had only one surgeon avialable on any given day. The truth is these guys do put in some serious hours but there is almost always more than one (...and for obvious reasons). So the story of the nurse or doctor mentioned wanting to relieve this surgeon is bogus.

If anyone truly believes this, I encourage you to never go to a hospital and deny all medical care. If these people are so ready to lose patients for the option to maybe save another I wouldn't trust them with 90% of a normal doctor visit.

The truth is, that most of these individuals attend school for a long time to make big bucks and contribute to the medical community. Ask a surgeon if they can recant a time when they lost someone on the table. If they had--They'll remember it, because it's not easy obviously, even if you think they're a drunken loser.

Again the donor card has nothing to do with contributing to science, although when you truly do die, your organs would go to someone in actual need.

Re:Ethics, line 1... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26379881)

Does this really matter?

From what I understand, your body will quite possibly save several lives, and not just one. Statistically, it'd be saving lives to shoot a healthy person, and use his/her body to save $x (where $x > 1) unhealthy-but-could-be-healthy-with-spare-parts people.

While this might be rather unorthodox for a healthy person, if he/she will probably die anyway, they might as well choose the "greater good" option.

(Afterthought: If trying to fix the dying person does not damage their body (or otherwise make it unsuitable for transplant), they should probably exhaust all other options first)

FUD... in the most vile form. (4, Insightful)

Klootzak (824076) | more than 5 years ago | (#26379989)

Even more despicable than trying to create fear, uncertainty and doubt of Open-Source, are people who try to do the same thing against those who would save lives... I hope you sleep well girlintraining.

Re:Ethics, line 1... (1)

mugnyte (203225) | more than 5 years ago | (#26380553)

  What dramatic writing. However, donor cards still serve the common good over the individual.

  As for you credibility, you claim what you write is no rumor, so please post the folks who own up to this as your sources.

  The more people that have them, the less any "laziness effect" might appear on behalf of ER medicine.

Re:Ethics, line 1... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26380749)

Whenever I hear a story about donating organs, I think of California's ruling that dead bodies aren't property, so no one can do anything if a hospital takes the organs without permission. I know its not exactly a great selling point for the hospital, but there's nothing the patient's family can do. In this case, why not bribe some hospitals to give them the organs when they have patients like these? Here's an article that seems to cover the topic pretty well: http://www.kentlaw.edu/perritt/blog/2007/06/who-owns-your-body.html.

10% of doctors are too literal (1)

Nux'd (1002189) | more than 5 years ago | (#26379315)

"...with the remaining 10% of 'healthy' brains donated by friends or relatives of patients."

Errm.. won't they need them for when they go visit?

Wait until they're dead (3, Funny)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#26379513)

' Part of the problem, according to Professor Margaret Esiri at the University of Oxford, may be that people are reluctant to donate their brains because they see the organ as the basis of their identity.

I would have thought that they only accepted brain donations from families of people who have already died. Certainly donating your brain while you are still alive would have an effect on your identity. I would hope this practice stops.

Get in line... (1)

cjb658 (1235986) | more than 5 years ago | (#26379877)

I need more people with brains at my job too.

I've done it in Aus (1)

marcushnk (90744) | more than 5 years ago | (#26379911)

I have donated my brain in Australia
http://www.braindonors.org/ [braindonors.org]

I'm not gonna be needing it after the Aus Gov filter my internet... so why keep it ? :-P

Science, or practice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26380029)

I was talking to a surgeon a while ago, and she was saying that people were under the false illusion that donating their bodies would go towards cutting edge science. Apparently they're just used by medical students for scalpel practise.

Re:Science, or practice? (1)

Klootzak (824076) | more than 5 years ago | (#26380555)

Apparently they're just used by medical students for scalpel practise.

Alot (possibly the majority) of them are, however, would you rather a surgeon who's never practiced working on you while you're alive?

Take your FUD elsewhere.

Re:Science, or practice? (2, Insightful)

Amenacier (1386995) | more than 5 years ago | (#26380637)

They're not just used for scalpel practice - they're used for anatomical studies so that when your surgeon is opening you up, they know what all your organs actually look like and don't spend half an hour playing "find the body part we want". In order to be successful in dissection and surgery, you need to have practice on real flesh, because it's never as neat as the plastic models of the body would make you think.

They can have mine on one condition. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26380183)

Here's a great idea. When I die, I donate my brain to science, with one stipulation: in order to receive access to it, the scientist must publish a paper in a peer-reviewed journal about how awesome I am. Thus, the scientific community at large will regularly be reminded that I was one super-cool awesome dude.

Ok, you've convinced me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26380355)

I'll give you my brain.
What do I have to do to donate my body to science? Is it just a different sort of donor card?

I want that article icon (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#26380535)

for a desktop item picture, it'll make a great folder icon for say, Documents. But masked properly please, a black box border looks awful.

LIve Brains!!! Yum! (1)

itsybitsy (149808) | more than 5 years ago | (#26380711)

"Part of the problem, according to Professor Margaret Esiri at the University of Oxford, may be that people are reluctant to donate their brains because they see the organ as the basis of their identity."

Yeah, that's definitely the problem! I need my brain so that I have an identity! I'll not give it up willingly!

You'll have to pry it from my skull you zombies unless I shoot you in your dead head first!

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