Monday 20th March 2023

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Wanted: Dead Or Alive

March 10, 2023 Frontpage No Comments


In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, ovaries are surgically removed from women and ova are fertilized in artificial receptacles and then incubated in specially designed bottles where fetuses are genetically engineered. When they have fully matured, they are removed from the bottles and grow up as men and women specifically designed for pre-assigned ranks in society.
In 1932 when that novel was published, although chilling, the concept of massive laboratory birthing factories was generally viewed as sci-fi nonsense. It served as a warning against tyrannical dictatorships, but little more. But today, ideas that were thought of as preposterous almost a hundred years ago are becoming gruesome realities in a world that kneels before the altar of the physical sciences.
The empirical sciences have, indeed, become our new gods. The true God-given beauty of marital-love and the miracle of creation have given way to the test tube. Some of our elite look forward to a time when “artificial intelligence” will be mankind’s Bible, and at last, worries about morality will be irrelevant.
In a recent essay in The Wanderer, I mentioned a proposal at the University of Pittsburgh to attempt the transplantation of female organs into men who call themselves “transgender women,” so that they might experience menstruation and even be impregnated, resulting in the birth of a child. As sinister as that plan may be, there seems to be no end to bizarre and evil suggestions to replace natural childbirth with man-made technology.
Enter Professor Anna Smajdor, an instructor in “practical philosophy” at the University of Oslo in Norway. Her academic credentials? She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Edinburgh where, she “…first became interested in questions about the interaction between philosophy, science and ethics.” She received her Ph.D. from Imperial College, London, and was a lecturer in ethics at Norwich Medical School at the University of East Anglia (UK) prior to coming to the University of Oslo. (I found no evidence that she has had any extensive education in the physical sciences or in theology.)
Two common definitions of ethics are: 1. Moral principles that govern a person’s behavior or the conducting of an activity. And 2. The branch of knowledge that deals with moral principles.
Professor Smajdor may have her own definition of ethics, especially when one speaks of medical ethics. In an article of hers published in November 2022 in the medical journal Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics entitled, “Whole body gestational donation,” she addresses her thoughts on the future of birthing. The professor proposes a quantum leap forward in the use of those declared “brain-dead” on ventilators. Thus far medical doctors have limited themselves to harvesting vital organs from these “bodies” for implantation in critically ill patients. This is an organ donation process that has already been completely transformed over time. One that has resulted in a dramatic decrease in organ rejection. It did not occur because of new and better anti-rejection drugs, but by the acceptance of a different and controversial definition of death. Brain-death is now for many doctors the miraculous answer to what had been their worst concerns regarding organ rejection.
Early in the history of transplanting vital organs, doctors were frustrated by high rejection rates, since organs deteriorated quickly after hearts had irreversibly stopped beating and when circulation and oxygenation to the tissues irreversibly stopped (circulatory death.) By waiting for this event, often the organ or organs doctors hoped to use were already damaged beyond saving. But eventually, the medical community, which was determined to harvest fresher organs, found a path around the death problem, enabling them to harvest organs in almost pristine condition. That pathway was adding brain-death as another way of defining actual death!
By redefining brain-death as actual death, the transplant community received a welcome shot in the arm. The change has resulted in a significant increase in the transplant of vital organs, benefiting patients who needed them and the pocketbooks of those connected with the transplant industry, but no benefit was gained by the donor!

A Mesmerized Population

And redefining death made sense to a population mesmerized by the many, almost miraculous, advances in medicine. If doctors decided something was good for us, it must be. If they told us that a person in a coma was not likely to ever improve, well maybe that person was dead enough to use for the greater good. Hence, a new way of viewing death. One that absolutely accomplishes what is needed for organ preservation. Obviously, declaring ventilated patients with functioning hearts clinically brain-dead, makes transplanting their organs much easier.
Many have come to believe that with this new definition, obtaining vital organs for transplant has become like plucking a fresh carrot from a garden! But what is brain-death, and is it actual death?
The concept of brain-death as sufficient evidence of actual death had been promoted as early as the late 1960s, but it wasn’t until later that the push for legal acceptance became a reality. In 1981 the Uniform Determination of Death Act (UDDA) was drafted to legitimatize brain-death as a standard that medical personnel could rely on to declare actual death. It soon became “a model state law” eventually adopted by all 50 states.
Under the drafted act, a brain-death diagnosis (usually made in an intensive care unit) is declared by a doctor when he or she determines that three conditions exist: persistent coma, absence of brainstem reflexes, and lack of ability to breath independently. This approach freed the medical community from legal problems, enabling them to use the bodies of brain-dead patients on life support (ventilators) as mere containers to be available, as needed, for body parts.
With this controversial and arbitrary decision to use brain-death as a proof of legal death, patients could be kept in a “vegetative state” indefinitely. This additional definition of death was ingenuous and perhaps even diabolical. With the aid of ventilators, medical facilities could carefully keep a patient in a deep coma, while maintaining a beating heart that ensured circulation and the healthy condition of the organs they wanted, and at the same time, they could claim that the patient had died!
Unfortunately, for brain-death advocates, there have been cases in which those declared brain-dead recovered, some in less-than-ideal condition, and some who fully recovered. In one such case in 2009, a 41-year-old woman, so-called brain-dead, unexpectedly woke up in the operating room just as her organs were about to be harvested! In another case in 2011, a 19-year-old woman suddenly woke up as doctors gathered around her bedside discussing her presumed “brain death and possible organ donation.” These and other cases involving premature attempts to declare patients brain-dead are reviewed by Dr. Doyen Nguyen, MD, STLA, a physician specialized in hematopathology and a moral theologian, in her research article, “Brain death and true patient care” published September 25, 2016.
Unperturbed by any questions regarding brain-death, Professor Smajdor’s article now offers an additional use for these brain-dead “containers.” Why not also benefit from them by making them human incubators for reproducing babies? These unfortunate prisoners of modern technology would become “wombs” for those who want a child, but either cannot conceive naturally, or choose not to. She even foresees that “commissioning parents may prefer to create an embryo for implantation using their own gametes [male and female germ cells] or those of a donor.” This could then be followed up by appropriate hormonal therapy to ensure maximal chance of success.
Smajdor points out that when brain-death occurs that “the patient moves from being the focus of medical concern, to being a repository of tissue that can be used to benefit others. And, of course, the former patient, now the repository of a fetus, would be closely monitored. Although brain-dead, the body would be continually tested for vitamin deficiencies, infections, etc., as would the fetus, or fetuses, to be sure that at birth only healthy products (babies) would emerge. However, if an unhealthy fetus was growing within the donor body, an abortion could be performed upon the permission of the commissioning parents.
Selective terminations on otherwise healthy fetuses could be accomplished as well, if it was determined that a particular fetus may not be of the preferred sex or has indications of features that are not to the liking of the anxious and loving soon-to-be parents. If a decision to abort is made, a surgical procedure might be in order so that the brain-dead body could possibly be used again for another pregnancy, or if that is not feasible nor desired, and there are no other fetuses growing in the incubator/body, then we can assume that the abortion could be accomplished by simply turning off the ventilator. Clean and efficient.
The professor assures us that the brain-dead would not be forced to act as incubators. Written consent would have to be obtained from the proposed surrogates beforehand (presumably, while they still had some use of their more important faculties). On some occasions permission would be sought and granted long before the prospected container becomes terminally ill. However, problems and confusion can occur when little time exists between the patient’s mental awareness of what he or she is consenting to and his or her diagnosis as brain-dead.
Just so feminists might not think that they’re being picked on, Smajdor is quick to add that the use of the brain-dead as incubators for fetal production does not have to be limited to brain-dead women. She suggests that brain-stem dead men are also potential incubators! According to her, “The prospect of male pregnancy is not as many would imagine, fanciful, or a piece of science fiction.” She suggests that “the liver is a promising implantation site” for males, because of its “excellent blood supply.” Who would have thought that the male liver was such an adaptable organ! Remember when radical feminists like Gloria Steinem used to say that “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle”? Well, now ladies, maybe you might want to reconsider that remark. Perhaps, if you’re a woman who wants a child without the hassle of a personal pregnancy, and you can’t find a willing female surrogate, you may want to reconsider the value of men and check out some dying guy’s liver.
Smajdor acknowledges that her suggestions are controversial but maintains that “if we are happy to accept organ donation in general, the issues raised by whole-body gestational donation are differences of degree rather than substantive new concerns.” She does not address the sanctity of life. She does, however, show some reluctance to extend the gestational donation business into those she considers barely alive, those in a persistent vegetative state (PVS). After all, she acknowledges that some of those patients do show signs that they may recover. I suspect though that it wouldn’t take much to convince transplant specialists that PVS patients aren’t that different from those who are brain-dead, and if there’s ever a shortage of the brain-dead containers, well, why not? After all, it would serve the greater good.
Interestingly, Smajdor also raises the possibility of one day society may be able to save all healthy women from the “danger” of pregnancy, which she contends is more dangerous than many natural illnesses. There could come a time, she says when most or all future births could come from brain-dead incubators, thereby freeing women from the burdens of pregnancy altogether.
In spite of the obvious shock and revulsion generated by her obscene proposals, Smajdor wants us to accept as fact that a brain-death diagnosis is sufficient evidence of actual death. But that position is not as widely embraced as she would have us believe. While it is true that many transplant specialists and legal experts have been able to convince state legislators to pass the brain-death laws they preferred, that does not constitute proof of actual death, medically or morally.
Smajdor may envision herself as a leader among progressive thinkers, and certain specialists in the transplant field and those who specialize in reproductive endocrinology may see a financial bonanza available to them by advocating for their definition of death, but their position is not universally accepted, even after 40 years of legislation defending it.
In fact, a review of medical literature dating back to the 1960s shows a definite bias towards using a brain-death definition for actual death, specifically to make harvesting organs more successful. One example, from a 1966 international symposium on “Ethics in Medical Progress: With Special Reference to Transplantation” sponsored by the Ciba Foundation in London, “…several discussions were held on the issue of equating le coma dépassé (that is, irreversible coma) with death, for the purpose of procuring more viable organs, thereby circumventing the poor quality of organs retrieved from true cadavers.” Medical literature since then shows many scientists challenging the motives of those promoting brain-death as the standard for declaring actual death.
The dilemma caused by a brain-death diagnosis presents us with an almost insurmountable challenge, if or when we are in a position where we may be asked to approve a transplant from or to a loved one. Do we accept a doctor’s view that our loved one has passed on, and remove vital organs, thereby assuring his or her actual death? And if our loved one might be saved by taking a vital organ from one declared brain dead, do we say, “Yes, do it,” thereby assuring the actual death of someone else?

Edgar Allan Poe
And John Paul II

The insightful American writer and poet, Edgar Allan Poe, in his short story, The Premature Burial written centuries ago, wrote, “The boundaries which divide Life from Death, are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where one ends, and where the other begins?”
And St. John Paul II in his address to the 18th International Congress of the Transplantation Society on August 29, 2000, said: “The death of a person…is an event no scientific technique or empirical method can identify directly.”
Unfortunately, today’s society’s emphasis on usefulness is rapidly replacing respect for an individual’s right to life, and many of our physicians have forgotten the pledge to “first do no harm.” It began early on with attacks on the unborn and the elderly, and now it also focuses on the gravely ill, as well. “Wanted: Dead or Alive” is a reality. There is a blind rush to throw away the weak and the unproductive. The commonsense view of life and death stated by Poe and confirmed by St. John Paul II’s clear warning against the sole use of empirical evidence to determine the moment of death, has fallen on many deaf ears, advancing the Culture of Death throughout the world.

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Biden administration pats itself on the back for shooting down China balloon - meanwhile southern border is wide open to the Chinese.

House Republicans approved 2 #ProLife measures.

The first measure would ban #Abortion on babies born alive and require the babies be given medical care and treatment. The other measure condemned a spurt of growing attacks against crisis pregnancy centers.

House Republicans Pass Pro-Life Bills

House Republicans on Jan. 11 approved two pro-life measures. The first measure passed by the House would ban abortion ...

Load More...

Vatican and USCCB leave transgender policy texts unpublished

While U.S. bishops have made headlines for releasing policies addressing gender identity and pastoral ministry, guidelines on the subject have been drafted but not published by both the U.S. bishops’ conference and the Vatican’s doctrinal office, leaving diocesan bishops to…Continue Reading

Biden says Pope Francis told him to continue receiving communion, amid scrutiny over pro-abortion policies

President Biden said that Pope Francis, during their meeting Friday in Vatican City, told him that he should continue to receive communion, amid heightened scrutiny of the Catholic president’s pro-abortion policies.  The president, following the approximately 90-minute-long meeting, a key…Continue Reading

Federal judge rules in favor of Gov. DeSantis’ mask mandate ban

MIAMI (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge this week handed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis another legal victory on his mask mandate ban for schools. On Wednesday, Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida denied a petition from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist should not be received unworthily, says Nigerian cardinal

Priests have a duty to remind Catholics not to receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin and to make confession easily available, a Nigerian cardinal said at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday. “It is still the doctrine…Continue Reading

Donald Trump takes a swipe at Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him

Donald Trump complained about Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him in 2020. The former president made the comments in a conference call featuring religious leaders. The move could be seen to shore up his religious conservative base…Continue Reading

Y Gov. Kathy Hochul Admits Andrew Cuomo Covered Up COVID Deaths, 12,000 More Died Than Reported

When it comes to protecting people from COVID, Andrew Cuomo is already the worst governor in America. New York has the second highest death rate per capita, in part because he signed an executive order putting COVID patients in nursing…Continue Reading

Prayers For Cardinal Burke . . . U.S. Cardinal Burke says he has tested positive for COVID-19

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said he has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. In an Aug. 10 tweet, he wrote: “Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently…Continue Reading

Democrats Block Amendment Banning Late-Term Abortions, Stopping Abortions Up to Birth

Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment that would ban abortions on babies older than 20 weeks. During consideration of the multi-trillion spending package, pro-life Louisiana Senator John Kennedy filed an amendment to ban late-term abortions, but Democrats steadfastly support killing…Continue Reading

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.

  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1


Today . . .

">Cardinals Burke . . . SAME-SEX UNION BLESSINGS?

Longtime teacher fired after discussing God in classroom, challenging ‘evil’ LGBT school policy

(LifeSiteNews) — A longtime public school teacher in Idaho was let go earlier this month for being unafraid to mention God in the classroom and voicing his objections to a pro-LGBT policy designed to promote “transgender” ideologies among young people.  Ian O’Connell, a Catholic teacher who served as a substitute in the public institutions of Caldwell School District for over 20 years, spoke on February 13 about a proposed “gender identity and sexual orientation” policy that…Continue Reading

Murder investigation underway in shooting death of LA Auxiliary Bishop O’Connell

The shooting death of Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop David G. O’Connell Saturday is being investigated as a homicide, authorities have confirmed. “This incident is being handled as a murder investigation,” the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) said in a statement Sunday. No additional details were released. “We learned early this morning from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office that they have determined that the d

FBI whistleblower releases docs showing agency is surveilling ‘Radical’ Latin Mass Catholics

RICHMOND, Virginia (LifeSiteNews) — A document released by an FBI whistleblower indicates the agency plans to intensify its “assessment” and “mitigation” of “Radical Traditionalist Catholics” over the next 12 to 24 months due to alleged concerns that “white nationalists” are increasingly making common cause online with attendees of the Latin Mass.

MN Catholics Pass Radical Abortion Bill

SAINT PAUL, Minn. ( – Catholic legislators have been instrumental in the nation’s most radical abortion bill becoming state law.  The so-called Protect Reproductive Options Act, or PRO Act, allows for the killing of unborn babies up until birth — by any method, with no maternal age restrictions and for any reason. Minnesota’s Senate passed the lethal legislation on Saturday, following 15 hours of debate. As promised, Gov. Tim Walz, a two-term Democrat, signed the bill into law on Tuesday afternoon.  “We are enacting the most extreme bill…Continue Reading

300th Catholic Church Attacked Since 2020

(Wanderer Editor’s Note: This March 13 article is reprinted from with their permission. All rights reserved.) + + (CV News Feed) — An act of vandalism against a Catholic church in Connecticut over the weekend marked a grim milestone: The 300th known attack on a Catholic church in America since the spring of 2020.Police…Continue Reading

St. Veronica And Face-Face Human Relationships

By DONALD DeMARCO The sixth of the 14 Stations of the Cross tells us that “Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.” According to tradition, Christ left an imprint of His face on the veil (or cloth) that she used. Veronica looked upon Christ’s bloodstained face with sympathy, Christ responded with an expression of His loving…Continue Reading

Destroy The Mexican Drug Cartels

By JOSH HAMMER The tragic killing of two U.S. citizens this past week in the border town of Matamoros, Mexico, should, in a just world, refocus American attention on the glaring problem of transnational drug cartels’ de facto control of large swaths of our perilously porous southern border.That the two Americans killed may have been…Continue Reading

“God Really Intervened”. . . How A Priest Escaped From His Kidnappers In Haiti

By DIEGO LOPEZ MARINA SANTO DOMINGO (CNA) — Fr. Antoine Macaire Christian Noah, a Claretian priest from Cameroon, escaped unharmed from a crime gang that had kidnapped him in Haiti last month and has been taken to another country for his safety.On March 2, Fr. Fausto Cruz Rosa, major superior of the Antilles Delegation of…Continue Reading

Utah Legislature Passes Bill Banning All Abortion Clinics

By MICAIAH BILGER SALT LAKE CITY (LifeNews) — A bill to ban abortion facilities in Utah passed the state legislature Thursday, March 3 by an overwhelming majority.After the Utah Senate voted 22-6, the bill now heads to Gov. Spencer Cox, a pro-life Republican, who said he supports the bill, the Associated Press reports.Sponsored by State…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Glory Of The Son Of God

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Fifth Sunday Of Lent (YR A) Readings: Ezek. 37:12-14Romans 8:8-11John 11:1-45 In the first reading today, God promises us through the Prophet Ezekiel that He will open the graves of His people and have them rise from their graves. This is the promise of the Resurrection. This needs to be made clear because in the Gospel…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: This series on the Bible is from the book Catholicism & Scripture. Please feel free to use the series for high schoolers or adults. We will continue to welcome your questions for the column as well. Please see the contact information at the end of the column. Special Course On Catholicism And Scripture (Chapter 15) After some fifty…Continue Reading

The Rampage Of The Lawless

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK One supposes that the truth becomes “safe” for liars once they control the levers of power and thus can take credit for finally disseminating it, or allowing it be to spread. The power of elected office or bureaucratic privilege is instrumentalized for its own perpetuation at whim through a manipulation of the facts. We are…Continue Reading

The Conditions For Mortal Sin Are Not That Hard To Meet

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope posted this commentary on March 5 and it is reprinted here with permission. Msgr. Pope is the pastor of Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian in Washington, D.C.) + + Recent and public conversations about the nature of mortal sin, the reception of Holy Communion and worthiness to receive the Eucharist have shown how…Continue Reading

Reject Evil And Live For The Son Of God

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Fourth Sunday Of Lent (YR A) Readings: 1 Samuel 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13Eph. 5:8-14John 9:1-41 In the first reading today, we see one of the most typical of human actions: judging by appearances. God sends Samuel to anoint the king He has chosen. Samuel does not know who the man is, but he does know that he…Continue Reading

Crushed But Unbroken . . . The Martyrdom Of St. Margaret Clitherow

By RAY CAVANAUGH The late-1500s were a tough time for Catholics in England, where the Reformation was in full gear. A 1581 law prohibited Catholic religious ceremonies. And a 1584 Act of Parliament mandated that all Catholic priests leave the country or else face execution. Some chose to remain, however, so they could continue serving the faithful.Also taking huge risks…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Bernardine Of Siena (1380-1444)

By DEB PIROCH The year Siena lost its famed St. Catherine, it gained a new future saint; St. Bernardine Albizeschi, later St. Bernardine of Siena, OFM, known as the “Apostle of Italy.” He was a great friar preacher who would win souls for God.Being born in 1380 of a noble family did not protect him from heartache, but the prayers…Continue Reading