Brain Death is Not Real Death Part2
Brain Dead Girl Grows 11cm In Three Years

Organ transplants from brain dead patients are not uncommon in Japan. This article will look into the medical practices in the U.S. and Japan regarding organ transplants and investigate the ethics surrounding this procedure.


Is Brain Death is True Death?

Organ transplantation from brain dead patients in Japan was first permitted in 1997. October this year will mark 20 years of this practice. In that time there have only been 476 brain dead donors (Japan Organ Transplant Network Homepage). That is a very small amount compared to the U.S., which had 155,000 donors in the same period (U.S. HHS).

In a 2008 meeting, The Transplantation Society published a declaration stating, “Jurisdictions, countries and regions should strive to achieve self-sufficiency in organ donation.” This was a response to the problem of hospitals prioritising transplants for foreigners instead of citizens, despite the scarcity of organ donors. Countries such as Japan have been pushing for an increase in the number of donors.

However, the arguments for an increase in organ donors have missed a vital point. They have bypassed the question, “Are brain dead people really dead?”

To help us answer this question, let’s look at the story of a child who was pronounced brain dead three years , even though her heart is still beating.


Part 2


The Definition of “Death” Is In Fierce Debate In the U.S.

The debate regarding the definition of death has been continuing in the U.S. for some time. Below is an introduction to some of the arguments.

The U.S. is at the forefront of organ transplantation, and some voices in the world of medicine have challenged the definition of death.

Dr. Alan Shewmon, neurologist and professor emeritus at UCLA, propounded that brain death was not true death in a 1998 paper in which he referred to 175 cases where brain dead patients showed signs of life. (Chronic “brain death”: meta-analysis and conceptual consequences, 1998) One notable example was of a boy who continued to grow for 14 years after being pronounced brain dead.

The President’s Council of Bioethics published a paper in 2008 proposing to replace the term “brain death” with “total brain failure”.

“The latter term would be preferable, but their proposal has not caught on,” Dr. Shewmon, who was present at the Council, told The Liberty Magazine. “Neither is the proposed term completely accurate, because the brain failure is not “total” in many cases that meet clinical diagnostic criteria: hypothalamic functions are frequently present in these cases, and the hypothalamus is part of the brain.”

Dr. Shewmon’s contribution at the Council of Bioethics inspired another specialist to publish an essay that presented proof that brain dead patients weren’t really dead. Until we can be clear all ethical doubt we must consider brain dead patients to be alive, it said.

Dr. Shewmon added that Japan has an extremely vital role in the research of brain death.

In the U.S., when a patient is pronounced brain dead the family must choose whether to detach the respiratory aid or provide the organs for donation. Similarly in Spain, France and Austria, unless the patient has refused organ donation, they are offered up immediately after brain death.

Dr. Shewmon says that Japan will play an increasingly important role in “brain death” research in his essay.

“The scientific study of “brain death” requires that patients be supported long enough to be studied,” says Dr. Shewmon. ” The most interesting physiological questions about the impact of cessation of brain function on the body have to do with the condition of the body days, weeks, and months afterwards. Maintaining “brain-dead” patients that long is considered unacceptable almost everywhere except Japan.”

Japan has many cases of terminal brain death that may play a big part in the global understanding of brain death.


Challenges from the Religious World

Some doctors and scientists who uphold religious values concerning death are also challenging the notion of brain death.

For instance, Islam defines death as the moment after all organs cease to function. Muslim surgeon at the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Mohamed Y. Rady, wrote a thesis asserting that confusing ‘brain death’ with ‘true death’ would cause trouble for a Muslim patient in the afterlife. He explained the difficulty with confirming brain death, adding that it could occur in a situation where the soul is still connected to the body. Treating brain death as real death would jeopardize religious ritual, he said.

The argument is fairly divided amongst Catholics.

One Catholic researcher stated that if the brain stops functioning the body will disintegrate and would therefore be dead. Nicanor Austriaco, a priest who holds teaching positions at Providence College, argued against this claim. He holds that with chronic brain dead patients, their blood pressure and immune system remain fully functional, and they reveal signs of physical growth. We therefore cannot say that the body disintegrates. (A philosophical assessment of TK’s autopsy report: Implications for the debate over the brain death criteria, 2016).

The Catholic creed states that death is when the soul leaves the body. The problem is whether brain death occurs before or after this happens.

“Differences among scholars can be at the scientific, philosophical, and theological levels,” Professor Austriaco told The Liberty Magazine. “The Catholic debate is primarily philosophical: How do you properly interpret the scientific data? And this depends on how you answer the following question: What is a integrated organism?”

The world of religion is also uncertain about what is meant by “death”.


What Is True Death?

Happy Science teaches that the soul departs from the body around one day after the heart stops beating, when the silver cord that connects the soul to the body breaks. This is the origin of the Buddhist wake ceremony, which is held before the funeral to wait for the silver cord to break off.

In the event of brain death the soul still resides in the body, and the patient can feel pain when doctors cut the body to extract organs. In fact, there have been reports of bodies flinching and blood pressure increasing during the extraction operation. For this reason, doctors have decided to use anaesthetic for these operations. This is added proof that brain dead patients are not really dead.




It Takes Time For The Soul To Leave The Body

Brain death

The parts of the brain responsible for sustaining life cease to function. The soul has not left the body, and the patient can still feel physical sensations.

Cardiac death

The heart and respiratory functions cease operating, blood circulation stops and all organ functions cease. The soul comes and goes, in and out of the body, but the silver cord remains intact and the patient can still feel physical sensations.

↓ ← usually one day gap

True death

The silver cord breaks off and the soul leaves the body completely.


Tragedies That Follow Organ Transplants

Since brain death is not true death, the brain dead patient (donor) who has his or her organs extracted feels unbearable pain. But the problem doesn’t just end there: it also affects the patient receiving the transplant.

Master Ryuho Okawa, founder and CEO of Happy Science, has for many years been warning of the dangers inherent in organ transplants from brain dead donors. Below is an extract from one of his lectures given in August:


“With organ transplants, the more important the organ the greater the attachment the donor has to that organ. The donor may be dead, but seeing the organ continue to live inside another person’s body, in some cases the spirit of the donor begins to think that the new body is their own. The donor’s spirit can spiritually possess and come to dominate the new body.”


Just Like The Donor

In 1994, a man called Sunny from Georgia U.S.A. received a transplanted heart from a donor called Terry who shot himself in the head in South Carolina. A few years after the operation, Sunny sent a letter of gratitude to Terry’s divorced ex-wife. When they met, Sunny fell immediately in love with the ex-wife.

Sunny suddenly divorced his faithful wife of 35 years to marry Terry’s ex-wife. Sunny’s friends also observed changes in his lifestyle, such as suddenly showing a preference for beer and hotdogs. These were in fact Terry’s favorite foods.

Sunny and his new wife ended up divorcing. Three years later in 2008, Sunny shot himself in the head and died.


Cohabitation With The Donor’s Soul

This incident is most likely a manifestation of spiritual possession of the recipient by the donor’s spirit. This is also the reason for transplant rejections and the need for antirejection medications.

If the donor harbors an attachment to this world or his or her organs, the donor’s spirit begins to cohabitate the recipient’s body. In countries such as Japan, donor information is strictly guarded. Transplants may save lives, but at a huge spiritual risk.



“The Eye” (2008) Directed by David Moreau and Xavier Palud

A woman receives an eye transplant that allows her to see things that cannot usually be seen. A Hollywood remake of the film “The EYE” (2002). The original idea came from an incident in Thailand where a girl who received a cornea transplant committed suicide a week later. The transplanted cornea could have been a trigger for spiritual possession.




The Most Advanced Medical Research

Nozomi’s case of chronic brain death covered above challenges the current definition of brain death. This means we need to reconsider our ideas of organ transplantation.

organ transplantation could only be legitimized if it is treated as a spiritual offering. This would require the performance of ceremonial purification so nothing spiritually unclean remains on the donor, the receipient and the organ being offered.

Master Okawa said in the lecture, “When there is a relation of love between both sides and their families, the transplant may go well. Or if the offering party is virtuous and desires to save a fellow human, and the receiving party accepts the organ with true gratitude, this may also work out.”

The current situation, however, is usually far from this ideal. In some rare cases, children who become brain dead from severe maltreatment become donors. There are numerous reports of Falun Gong members having their organs forcefully extracted. They are a qigong group experiencing persecution in China, and this impure transplant method would indubitably trigger spiritual possession. Far from saving the patients, this would only bring unhappiness.

From a religious viewpoint, illness is largely affected by the person’s mindset. By incorporating religious and spiritual insight into medical science, it would make it possible to cure illnesses that have until now been incurable. Understanding the relationship between mind and body can guide patients toward improvement; and since death awaits us all, it is necessary to learn the truth about what death really is.

Medical technology alone will not advance the field of medical science. It is through an understanding of the human as a spiritual being that medical research will truly flourish and pave the way for a bright future. This is the true ideal of the most advanced medical research.

Brain Death is Not Real Death Part2
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