Not too long ago, a woman woke up in an ER in Syracuse, NY just in the nick of time. It seems that despite a nurse’s concerns that the patient was not dead because she still had reflexes when the nurse stuck needles into her toes, the doctors disagreed and prepared to harvest her organs. Luckily the woman woke up and the doctors had to cancel their organ picnic plans. The hospital has no explanation as to how this mistake occurred.
This is not the first time I have read a story about overeager doctors looking for organs to pass on to other patients. I don’t think the standard medical tests to prove a patient is “dead enough” are sufficient , so I propose some new tests. I think hospitals can either employ these tests one at a time or in any combination and they might prevent “mishaps” like taking organs before their time:
1. Prop the patient up in front of a TV and force them to “watch” a marathon of Sarah Palin speeches. If the presumed dead patient doesn’t bolt up screaming, “No more! Take my organs now!” then you know he or she has truly expired.
2. Brazilian Waxes. More effective than a few needles to the toes and if the person does wake up after having their pubic hair ripped from their private parts, they are ready to celebrate at the beach!
3. A daylong field trip to the DMV. Some people think this is creepy but let’s face it: no one will notice a near dead guy sitting in the DMV for hours. Everyone at the DMV looks like they are ready for their organs to be taken out. (ooh, idea: they should scout the DMV for donors. Get them right after they check the box that they will be donors!) Anyway, nothing gets the blood flowing like frustration and rude people telling you what to do. I can hear the conversations already: “We told you to open your eyes to take the driving test!” Or “If you don’t speak up when I ask you questions, you can just wait at the back of the line again!”
4. A piggyback ride with that Wallenda guy as he crosses the Grand Canyon. If that doesn’t scare a body into living again, nothing will. And again, if an accident occurs and Wallenda drops him/her — no harm; no foul.
5. If the deceased is a man, slip him a Cialis or Viagra and see what happens. Of course, if he has an erection for more than four hours, he might be close to death anyway, and the doctors might still get his organs — or at least one very prominent one.
I think if medicine implemented some of my test ideas, harvesting organs would become not only a more precise science but a more entertaining one too.