Organs taken from patients that doctors were pressured to declare brain dead
(NY POST) The New York Organ Donor Network pressured hospital staffers to declare patients brain dead so their body parts could be harvested — and even hired “coaches” to train staffers how to be more persuasive, a bombshell lawsuit charged yesterday.
The federally funded nonprofit used a “quota” system, and leaned heavily on the next of kin to sign consent forms when patients were not registered as organ donors, the suit charged.
“They’re playing God,” said plaintiff Patrick McMahon, 50, an Air Force combat veteran and nurse practitioner who claims he was fired as a transplant coordinator after just four months for protesting the practice.
The suit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, cited four examples of improper organ harvesting.
In September 2011, a 19-year-old man injured in a car wreck was admitted to Nassau University Medical Center. He was still trying to breathe and showed signs of brain activity, the suit charged.
But doctors declared him brain dead under pressure from donor-network officials, including Director Michael Goldstein, who allegedly said during a conference call: “This kid is dead, you got that?” the suit charged.
The patient’s family consented to have the organs harvested.