Understanding Brain Death

Vital Organ Transplantation and "Brain Death"

Since the founding of the IFGR/MF in 1978, the Michael Fund Newsletter has covered
many life-death issues, particularly those related to the field of genetics including eugenic
abortion, prenatal diagnosis and genetic counseling. In this issue of our newsletter, we
examine some important aspects of vital organ transplantation with the distinguished
physician and pro-life advocate, Dr. Paul Byrne. Editor, Randy Engel
Editor: Dr. Byrne, how would you describe the body of a human being?
Dr. Byrne: A human person on earth is composed of body and soul. God creates the
person. Biologically speaking, the body is composed of cells, tissues, organs and eleven
systems, including three major vital systems. No one organ or system controls all other
organs and systems. Interdependent functioning of organs and systems maintains unity,
homeostasis, immune defenses, growth, healing and exchange with environment, e.g.,
oxygen and carbon dioxide. Life on earth is a continuum from its conception to its natural
end. The natural end (true death) occurs when the soul separates from the body.

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