Wondering about wild grapes

Monday, February 28, 2011

Wondering when a person is dead.

I have been told in the past that I was brain dead. Now the person telling me that was not a doctor nor was I dead. It was just their way of telling me that they thought I was acting stupid. Now, believe me, I don’t have to act.

In the good old days, if you were not breathing and if no one could hear a heart beat, you were pronounced dead, but they did hold wakes just in case you woke up, but more for the alcohol involved in the process. I assume, a few “dead” people actually did wake up. Has even happened in modern times.

Now days, your heart beat and breathing can be normal, but they can pronounce you brain dead and pull the feeding tube and let you starve to death. Ever wonder how many people we have killed that way who could have recovered? I just finished reading an article by Kat McGowan in the magazine Discover that was titled “Back from the Brink”. Very interesting and told how even some “brain dead” people still had a spark of life in the brain and some repair themselves enough to communicate and some need a little brain stimulation. The question is, how many people have we killed?

My wife’s cousin’s husband had a motorcycle accident the day of my father-in-laws funeral. He was in a coma for many, many years, but she refused to “pull the plug” on him. She says that he was still there and sometimes his eyes followed her. After reading that article in Discover, I am now convinced that she did the right thing. It was definitely the right thing for her.


  1. Everyone should have a living will...I do not want to be in a coma for years. Pull my plug! Time for the next great adventure...

  2. yep, need a living will, mine is filed with my Doctor and even a copy on the usb thingy on my key ring.

    And speaking of the "dead" waking up? The term "dead ringer" relates to just that topic.

    What is the origin of the phrase dead ringer?

    People would be buried with a rope leading from inside the coffin to a bell above the ground. This enabled anyone who was buried alive to ring the bell and to draw attention to the mistake. Since people would not expect to see their 'dead' loved ones again, a person resembling the deceased is a 'dead ringer'. This is also reputed to be the origin of the expression 'graveyard shift' because people from the village used to take it in turns to listen for the bell.

  3. I've heard so many stories of things like this happening. Hope I never see it first hand!

  4. During my open heart surgery they tell me that I died one time....right there. Apparently I had a pretty good doctor. Everyone has a different view on death. Some wanna and some don't wanna.

  5. Here is an eye opener for you.


    Don Piper suffered a fatal accident! His heart stopped for 90 minutes. He regained consciousness when someone prayed for him while he was till entangled in the wrecked car.

    The like I provided gives a brief description of Don, and his ministry. He wrote a book called 90 minutes in heaven.
    Its available at amazon for $8.39 and worth every penny. If you are a true believer in Jesus Christ this book will boost your faith.

    If you are not, it will certainly make you think about it.


  6. I have heard of people who were burried alive,in the mistaken belief that they were dead. Some were burried years ago,before enbalming who were sweating, you would think someone would have realized that person wasn't dead. Such is life. Blessings jane

  7. I know there are various measureable signs of life ( pulse, breath, brain activity) and even the temporary lack of any of them does not mean that any one can't come back latter (Billy Bob's example).

    Unfortunately, it seams that more and more often, the question isn't "Can they be repaired", but "how long can we or will our insurance continue to pay to support those parts that can't work on their own". I don't know about you, but I've paid my insurance company out the wazoo the whole time I've been alive (well, a working adult anyway), and as long as they are to pay to keep me going, I expect them to. The moment that financial burden goes to someone I actually love, it's time to pull the plug.

    There is one thing I wonder about though. I've know of brain dead comatose patients before. When I've seen them, they always seemed to have breathing systems and various pumps to help circulate the blood attached. What IS working that still marks them as only "brain dead" anyway?

  8. Frann, I agree with you and all the others who mentioned a living will. The biggest benefit of one is that it takes the burden and guilt off the shoulders of the next of kin, and of course, your wishes get carried out.

    Ben, yep, I bet a lot of people were put under ground before their time back in the old days.

    Hermit, do you mean dying, being buried alive, or coming awake after pronounced dead? (grin) Yep, I know what you mean. I would like to live until I die. . .

    Billy Bob, Glad you had a good doctor. The ones who don’t wanna, might want to think it over. Suicide is one answer, but I can think of a lot better ones.

    Ernest, Don Piper was blessed to get a sneak preview of Heaven. He would have to dedicate the rest of his life to telling his special story.

    Jane, Yes, I am sure that happened more than we know. Do you think that they were quicker to get the ones they didn’t like under ground?

    Grant, to bring a brain injured person back to full consciousness after a long time out of it, would cost a lot more than most people have or insurance companies are willing to pay. The best bet would be to get them into a medical study. Or the alternative.

  9. with frann on that one! good post

  10. Nick, I know what you mean. Thanks for the kind comment. Maybe we can meet sometime at Terlinqua.

  11. Id like that, ill let u know before I go.

  12. I probably will not be going down until the end of March or in April sometime.

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