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continent. james monroe represented the majority of anti-federalist opinion in that his objection to the constitution was centered around its missing a bill of rights. while washington took the oath of office, two states -- new york and virginia -- were agitating for a new constitutional convention. in the words of james madison and george washington, they were terrified at this prospect. they believed that it would be infiltrated by enemies of the new government and that the constitution would be scrapped and done away with and that our union would be fractured, never, ever to come together again. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. ..
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>> mr. teresi, nice to meet you if. this is your fifth can you for another is about physics and the history of science and even a book on the brain. how did you come to write organ transplants and determination? >> i wasn't drawn to organ transplantation at all i was drawn to def and the reason was i was watching on the charlie rose show with my wife several years ago in the 1990's and she announced that it had a second
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or for the bone marrow transplant because of a cancerous disease and dennis saved his life and my wife said wow, she's going to die and soon and i said why do you think? she looks bad and second this is the denial speech because she had cancer, in a cancer support group and this is a speech you get but it's a classic denial speech. the show finished and then there had been a rerun she had a couple months earlier and the man saved by science was dead and he had said an interesting thing in the show which was rose asked him what do you think def is, is it the light at the end of a tunnell? he said it is a long sleep quoting shakespeare and i fought that can't possibly be.
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sleep is pleasant. your briefing, your heart is beating, the chemical process these are going on, it is invigorating. this is one of the greatest skeptics of our age and he thinks that he's just going to be sleeping and he is not clear to be sleeping, she is going to be gone. so what i wanted to do was try to find out of science said about death and what it was, and i started with a simple question which was how do we know when we are dead and that in the up being felt whole book because that's been an impossible question. >> host: a very difficult question and i can imagine particularly frustrating for someone whose whole professional life has been as a science writer and as a monegan who's written about topics like physics. physics used to be pretty straightforward granted when you get into the quantum issues it is more uncertain. but, of a wanted to just start
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off before we get back to the great determination of def which as you say is the essence of the book is a little bit more about you and your career as a writer of science i suppose. tell us about the magazine and science digest and other places you've looked. >> i wouldn't say i've had a career. i am a blue-collar guy that has had a series that has followed whatever has happened and whoever would hire me and getting a new job whenever i was fired which was frequently, but i grew up in minnesota where some strange magazines were created in the 30's. something called modern mechanics. there were all these futuristic magazines that came out of the world. i think 1932 and during the depression from people were so distressed emotionally and financially and they talked about this great future, and i
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was inspired by that and inspired by sputnik when the country went through a vast educational transformation, where they were looking for people who were good at math who might somehow beat the russians in space, and i had the scores but not the talent for. so i never did do science but when i got out of college i was offered a job at a science magazine and i to get and it's a wonderful thing to write about. >> he went from their -offering e-book the god particle which was a best-seller in 1993, right? >> guest: a nobel prize there was a bit of a help. >> host: i was going to ask how did you come to collaborate with him and what was it like working with a nobel prize winner? >> guest: she was very funny and i interviewed him for omni magazine and i've spoken with him many times. he was always a big draw at physics because he was funny and explained things so well so i suggest we should do a book
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together and we did. very easy man to work with. brilliant but in a common kind of way. >> you mentioned humor and some of the reviews said it was the funniest book about physics ever written. a lower bar then a funny book about death which is what some of the reviews have said as well. what is the role of humor in your writing more science writing in general? >> guest: for many people they feel that shouldn't be of role. we were criticized for being funny and that we brought down the field. i don't believe that. it is just a quirk of mine. i don't think it has to be funny or should be treated just the way i happen to write. >> host: it's just striking the humor was remarked upon in
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both of them. so in writing this book, one of the things that seems to pervade it is it a weakened you or if reawakened things like a fair amount of anxiety about -- >> guest: the first thing is i didn't think this through. if you think about it you can't really study def totally scientifically because it is supposed to be empirical. it's posted the experiments. but death, part of the definition is that it is irreversible and it's forever. so when a person is dead, they can't come back and say it was like this and it's not like going to philadelphia, come back and tell you about it and if someone does come back with a near-death experience than they are not dead, it's part of the definition. so i should have felt that through but what we do in studying are the sort of netherlands, you know, light the
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world like brain death and the vegetative state and was creepy reading about it and interviewing people about it. so i started imagining myself and some of these waking up in the morning sort of terrified and trying to tell people i'm really a life in here and like i was suffocating. i was very influenced by a book called the butterfly by john who was in the syndrome wear your turn the conscience, you have all of your mental facilities but your brain stem is down and you are paralyzed and he wrote a book with one on a lead blanking out of butter at a time and i had a bookend bought that book and is set around three or four months before i was brave enough to read it but that helped actually. that there was this incredible
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person inside this shell of a body. >> host: i had a patient wants it is a frightening -- >> guest: you had a patient? >> host: yak, with that. >> guest: what was it like? >> host: as you said, you can't help but imagine what this kind of thing would be like and it sounds terrifying. back to you. you worked in hospice of it. i gather that the past, you will continue to do that. is that part of the research? >> guest: i was always interested, and it wasn't totally relevant to the book. i didn't see it relative to the book as i wanted to do it. hospice open to the block and a half so i went down there and they were happy to have me because among the 60 councilors only to a falsework -- two of us
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were male. >> host: and what were they like? >> guest: is a actually have a spiritual counselor, a paid person who isn't religious that is spiritual and you are not allowed to challenge anyone's religious beliefs and she made the comment that for most people they die as they live, and so it was lovely being with these people that at the same time you can see what difference securities they had they took with them to the grave. if they were shy continue to be shy, if you're afraid of opposing authority they would still be tenet around the director, they could be bullied by staff and by the volunteers so who you are is, you done a. there were moments though.
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i did things i wasn't so as to do like you're not supposed to challenge people, and i had one patient we will call them def for lack of a better name and he was always complaining about his wife who left him and wasn't coming to see him at the hospital and he would go on telling me what an awful person and finally i said look, you don't have much time left. do you want to go to the grave bitching about this woman? he said would you suggest? i said i suggest you write a letter to her and i will help you. i said he will dictate it and think of all the great things about her and we will write it down and you can either send it or not send it but i think it might change your attitude i haven't heard anything great
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about her. so the stick a couple weeks, and we never finished it because she came back to him, magically she appeared one day at the hospice and became the devoted wife the last few weeks of his life. and i don't think there is anything more to do going on that later she found the letter that he had dictated to me among his belongings thanked me because he never expressed this to her casseaux it was against the rules but i thought was a kind of cool thing to do. >> host: it sounds very moving. now denial of death, that is a big theme in this book. tell me about it. you have a whole chapter which i found some interesting about how the universal nightmare is very alive and calcagni cultures have
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different ways of trying to prevent that from happening by dillinger and mechanism to distinguish a living from the dead over the millennia so over history and across culture. tell us about the memorable one example. >> only in the 18th century was death medicalized as they say leave it up until then it was like -- well, you are a doctor but regular people decided when their next of kin were dead, and the egyptians for example -- bequest was to find was there a cingular organ that when it was gone meant the whole organism, the controlling organism of the body, or was there a set of
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particular the case years there would tell you this person has definitely gone, and the egyptians for example have no use for the brain. when they made money is the hollow it out of skulls they would prop up the engine models in the money and the greeks would cut off a finger and felt the was a valid thing to do the would wake you up. they would wash the body, make a lot of noise and the third day they would sing songs. so i guess if you don't stir for those, you're dead and if it got no reaction after. the pope has a famous way of being determined and that is what the camera window which is a cardinal level post and he handpicks this person, and this person decides when he is dead.
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he hits them three times in the head with a silver hammer and calls of his baptismal name which is carried over from the romans. they carry that yelling your name three times. even today the pope isn't dead until the camera says he's dead. the doctors may pronounced death but he has the final say and it's a good system because he's someone close to the pope and when he declares, his job is over so he is out of work so he is not likely to declare death prematurely. the gold standard through the centuries like what is the thing we are convinced when this happens from the guy is dead is truth of action when you smell the high heaven and what this signals because it is a kind of atom of life, and when it implodes then you are probably dead but it kept switching from
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the heart to the lungs to the brain during the renaissance but we see the brain come to the forefront as people believe it to be the determinant oregon organ and one thing my book doesn't go into because i am not qualified is to figure out why this would have been you'd need an interdisciplinary approach. i think they had a lot to do with that. i think therefore i am. you see and shakespeare we are the crown of creation. we are the noblest of beasts that man is somehow different from other animals, so we started to have a definition that was lower for humans because so much more was expected and with our mind goes them we are gone because we become like another animal.
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no one talks about the brain death of a doll. it's considered unimportant and isn't scientific to say there's one species that's different. that is what we believe perhaps but it is not scientific to say that and that is what we have come to today is we've probably had the lowest standard for death in the history of man. >> host: in some ways the most contested because it is unethical as you know when a person becomes a body. >> guest: you mentioned a covered particle physics and it's true i never heard a particle physicist talking about their feelings. i feel that this is a proton. no one says that. the contests for it, and they are physical tests. i feel that was an electron. no. medical profession talks very
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openly about its ceiling. we think that these feelings reflects brain-dead people when they're being harvested for their organs we feel it is not paying. we feel that that's not important as opposed to other sciences wear as well we have these tests we did. we did a scam on this person what they were flailing around, we showed no biochemical lock activity in the brain, but we are not doing that. so it's just we are going on people's feelings. >> host: we will get to that a little later. it is actually a very controversial aspect of the book. and we will certainly get to that. i wanted to move into technology because, you know, as you know, new technology especially in medicine takes concept some practices that seem to be settled in the case of the
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donation of the understand that was the overarching interest in organs are secondary but that technology happens to be the ventilator. >> guest: it starts with william harvey, the english doctor that chartered the system. he was wondering what is the pivotal oregon and he chopped off the head of a rooster and he had his own ventilator which is and he stuck in the windpipe and pushed air into the rooster's longs. we would keep this restaurant live without his head and then in 1903, an american surgeon fought is a person with fatal brain damage are they alive or dead, so he gave his patience
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artificial respiration and gold push on the back and was able to keep one patient of life for 23 days. if a heart began to beat will he give them the artificial respiration than in the 40's and the 50's it remarkable thing happened was the polio epidemic. the iron lung is a ventilator and it's a better ventilator's than the ones we have leader. there were entire floors of possibles devoted to the lawyer and lungs and kids who would otherwise die without them and the ventilator we know today which is a much simpler mechanism came about and we have all these people in the rac you being kept alive. and at that time, not today that in that time they were cropping up the icu.
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so this pushed a group of people to form the ad hoc to come up with this new definition. >> we will come back to that as well. but right now who are who the undead? >> guest: it would include the brain dead, people in the persistent and fidgeted of state or walk down syndrome or include some minimal the conscious people but include those that are having near-death experiences. those are the people i looked into that get as close to death as you can get without dying command of course the organ transplant brain-dead people haven't gotten close, they are dead and that's where we disagree. >> host: how do they make that determination? >> guest: which one, bring that? >> host: brann bet. >> guest: the harvard paper in
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68 said there should be noted reflexes and no movement, and whether a person could breathe on his own is decided by an apnea test which the ventilator is turned off and you see if the patient can breathe on his own. if he can't, he's dead and you repeat all the tests anywhere from two hours to 12 hours later the clinical side of the test looking for reflexes and movement involves scored an ice water in the years for the reaction, torching the corner of the cornea with a q-tip, putting a flashlight, turning the head sideways to see if the allies follow it. if you are alive it takes awhile for your eyes to adjust to the movement but it will go directly sideways when you move the head sideways.
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it's a very short exam. i just noted that for the time of the transcript we had it was much shorter than my last of the exam and then there's the apnea test. originally the harvard committee said there should be comforter tests because these tests on the test brainstem from the stock at the base of the brain. it doesn't testify cortex which is what most of us think of your brain where we think and feel and feel pain and pleasure, where we see things and hear things so they should take any eg of the patient to see if there are brain waves and that's been he eliminated petraeus decrease through the years and has more technology has been developed it hasn't been used. for example, head scams were used in england on a persistent vegetative state patient to see
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if they are unconscious. the vegetative patient, his brain stem and like a brain-dead person is working -- >> host: teri schiavo. >> guest: yes, she probably wasn't there from the autopsy is telling us that the brains dennis functioning to breathe on your own but the rest of the brain is gone and you have no consciousness. it's estimated there were something like 100 fils and people in a pds in this country alone and the tests were devised in the 1970's by a man named fred and he said you don't need technology or equipment, just do these things and a lot of it had to do with examination of the eyes and reflexes. when they put scans of these people in england, a doctor named adrianne found 43% of the
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more conscious. these are people we judged to be unconscious and have been in this state for four years and devised ways of communicating through hand buzzers and brought back to consciousness. for years the families of these patients have said my son or husband, he was very aware when people he liked comes in the room he brightens up. esters a doctor he likes or doesn't like and you can tell from his expression and this had all been poo-pooed. he listened to these people because they saw a patient more than he did. with the technology he found they were conscious. then there's a functional mri which does it in real time it just doesn't take pictures, it shows on going like a film, and that can detect consciousness but we are not using this
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technology on the people that aren't really brain-dead >> host: the conscious state is different than the vegetative state, but you have taken that distinction into account. >> guest: it is much less closer to def. islamic and people often come out of that and that is my understanding where it has been used experimentally where people are asked and there is activity and this is introduced again, technology introducing a whole nother wrinkle into these kind of determinations. >> you should know this technology is not used -- >> host: it's not used to test brain death.
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>> guest: for the eeg. >> host: that is a very important point and i know that you emphasize that a lot in the book. several times you've mentioned you don't think this is too important to be left to the physicians, this determination, if i'm understanding you correctly, who would you leave it to or what kind of process do you feel would be more appropriate? >> guest: you're on an airplane and the captain comes over the intercom and says we have an emergency is there a doctor on the plan and you never hear is there a writer on the plan because we would tell you the win is on fire and go back to our drink. i don't have any practical advice on what to do at all that i'm not a want.
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any plan i would come up with would be so fatally flawed and would be worthless. but i would simply point out that for most of human history for people haven't left it to doctors. what we've got now since 1981 there was a law test called the uniform determination of debt fact and it's now law in all 50 states and what it says is there are two forms of death, there's heart and lung and brain death and they are both legitimate and there is only one kind of person who can decide if they're dead and that is a doctor and the doctor cannot be faulted or arrested or charged criminally for st. someone who live is actually dead and he cannot be sued for making a mistake. so not only have doctors totally
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taken over this area but they have no responsibility either. >> host: the case in the last two years in california of the surgeon who was examined for potentially prematurely taking organs from a patient who might not have been fully dead. obviously you wrote this book before. he was investigated, he was interested but people take very seriously. >> host: was the patient declared dead? >> guest: >> host: well, this was a case of a circulatory death as opposed to brann def order of tannin organs. can you say more about the
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general requirements for obtaining organs on at least the official ones, i know your skeptical they've met these requirements but -- >> guest: well, we of the dead donor role for the kidney that that is the only organ because you have to kidneys and you get along without one but everything else should come from a dead donor and there are two kinds, one is brain dead that we have spoken of and they're beginning the last 15 years to start taking organs more often from those that died in conventional means and some doctors think that is even scarier because you have to wait for the person's heart to stop and then immediately transplant it before
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there is a very short time window, and all sorts of things are used such as cushioned air like a blood pressure cuff put around of the donor to keep the blood pressure going after a the part stopped to keep the organs artificially produced. sometimes chemicals are objective and you are waiting for a man to have a heart attack and what happened in the real world you try to resuscitate them, well, they don't try. and in some ways it is called the two-minute drill because you wait two minutes and then harvest. some people wait three minutes or five minutes. in neither case people's hearts have been started after five
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minutes. postcode families give permission for this, correct? >> guest: yes, yes. well, yes and no. it's an interesting point. that's a debate. new laws where you are checking it off as a donor on your driver's license, that is theoretically binding in all 50 states and they can say no, we don't want this to happen. the doctors can still do it. they don't like to if they are put in a projection they worry about and they try to grow the family's fears that if you are used to the brain dead type of dillinger and that's what you're thinking if you are thinking at all when you check off that box, are you thinking that you are going to go through this process of what is called a non-beating heart cover or waiting for your heart to stop before the harvest
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you. >> host: the need to interview the family before they do that. that's my impression. >> guest: by some emphasis their thinking maybe they don't. that's a debate. do they really have to do that because that might cut on a number of organs. this method isn't new. >> host: that's true the used that before 1968. >> guest: for the first heart transplant, and the problem was that i think her name was denise , who hart wouldn't stop, the had a recipient waiting in her heart just kept beating to rid her brother years later had been there they had injected potassium to temporarily stop the heart so they could declare
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her dead and to remove the heart and put it in someone else. that is illegal to date. it's not part of standard practice you have to have two different teams in a separate team that dippers death and a separate team that does the transplant. >> host: that fire wall is incredibly important. people that are reluctant to sign there weren't become organ donor card is one of the reasons, they are not going to take care of me, the doctors aren't going to try to save me if the other donor. a guest to exceptionally the opposite. you may get the best care of your life if they think you are a donor and that is another controversy is can you give these patients drugs that only meant to keep their organs of the but have no benefit to the patient? in other words are you already treating them as a bag of organs before you declared brain death or treating them as a patient and of course after, you will
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get super treatment because well, frankly, brain-dead people are biologically alive in my opinion and in the opinion of many people because they took them back up to the ventilator their heart continues to beat confidence infections, their immune systems will fight infections, they have heart attacks and they can be resuscitated. you'll see crash parts going down the hallway to resuscitate a person, they get bedsores. the language in the journal's very interesting because one of them warns the nurse is taking care of what they call a beating heart cadaver. be careful because diabetes and syphilis is one of dhaka complications of def. when people die you don't worry
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about competition, and there was a report from the council on bioethics but says some people are less healthy than others. that should be by nouri come there shouldn't be some of the dead people and less healthy. they should all just be dead. >> host: where the person is declared brain dead, go over the cortex there is the consciousness, the engine of consciousness and perception of pain and what makes us recognizably human and then there's the brain stem that controls the breathing and other basic functions in those reflexes and those are what are
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tested for brain death determination that they can be like a eeg for example you believe it should still be used under the impression you believe that? >> guest: it's not a very good test, you know, and as brain-dead advocates point out it's an artifact meaning artificial ways that maybe there's a lot of equipment in the hospital, they put them on the people and 10% have come up with a brain waves that's not a good test. >> there are other tests but the reason they don't do this is because the clinical part of the criteria, the water in the year
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and the flashlight and the reflex, those are called the clinical parts because there were no patience at all they cited no medical papers, they just spun this out, so there were two groups after that in the late 60's and 70's that decided to look at actual patient who were tasked the clinical definition to see if they were truly dead by doing autopsies, and they found doing autopsies on the brain-dead with a clinical criteria many of them their brains have not been self-destructive. they didn't forget all and when they put the eeg on some of
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them, a remarkable number, minority, but five out of line in one case still have a eeg before they died, and another was 17 out of 500 brain waves after they had been declared brain dead. >> host: you are making a good point i came away from the book and an article in "the wall street journal" was that the eeg was abandoned irresponsibly -- i want to elaborate than a tiny bit about the fact you can get a false positives and negatives
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and that's the reason why it was abandoned. >> guest: they are seeing that after the fact they said this 1969 to 1972, because we got some of these tests the tests must be wrong and they just threw it out. if you think that its wall, which it is, then what will you do to confirm the brain is dead? and the decision was let's do nothing. >> host: i guess that gets to the american academy. one of the questions i have is 1968 was obviously decades ago
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and it's done somewhat differently as you say and wasn't part of it because for example to can be of medications that can give you a flat line or even hypothermia if you have been pulled out. >> guest: that's a flat line you can put the criminals against brain death as well. >> host: many other reasons and the point is you know that there are other reasons why someone could have a eeg that lets active or inactive, but 1968 clearly much has happened and they are cumulative deutsch to the american academy of neurology is of the standards for the brain death determination has issued guidelines in 1995 for 2010, and
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i wonder if this is already mentioned in the book. >> guest: there has been a lot of technology since 1968, and the writers of that article were saying as the new technology comes along we hope it will be adopted for testing of the cerebral cortex. to me how much of that technology has been adopted? >> first of all neurology, and an interesting thing is the committee had 13 men and not one -- mostly neurologists, a couple of transplant people including the joseph marie that won the nobel prize for transplant and they cannot and said this is exactly the same.
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but they had no cardiologists to tell them that. they didn't have cardiologists on the committee. they had no one that's an expert of heart or lungs to say this is exactly the same, because i don't think said they believe that. and they set up a rigorous tests they have now been abandoning. the new test is just rearranging >> host: we can to get out of the realm of the abstract, and take it into the ultimate in terkel dimension which is has any patient that has ever been declared brain dead by these standards which are similar to the ones that we've mentioned without the eeg has any of them
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ever a weekend, and in this 2010 report, it's called evidence based guidelines and an update on determining brain death and the objection of the report is specifically to update the 1995 guidelines on the questions the one that is most relevant now or the patience that fulfill the critical ty criteria for the near logical function and they did extensive reviews over 13 years, and they're finding was no, so to me there would be the kind of ultimate empirical test. >> guest: how were they going to recover when you take their organs out of them. >> host: this is the brain that criteria. >> guest: people that are announced brain dead. >> host: not everyone, certainly come and as you -- the conversion rate refers to for a
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very few people, less than -- this is less than 1%, and not all of those decrease their organs. the families are depending on whether they know the person's wishes are often likely not to donate, but i just bring that up as another perspective. >> guest: it's been every year since 1968 that no one has survived brain death >> host: reassured in 2010. >> guest: have you read the the report? the other thing they say is these people would quickly go to the cardio pulmonary death. >> host: it depends how
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aggressively they manage them in the hospital. sometimes they can last months. >> guest: 20 years. before the council on bioethics actually accepted the paper s true, and he pointed out there were 150 cases as opposed to zero where people did survive. brann def was first promoted they said a couple hours today. if your brain dead, put you back on the ventilator you've got very little time before you go directly to your heart stopping. what about the quality-of-life. just noting that wasn't something the folks that review the book know you can't cover everything in a book, i
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appreciate that but about the quality-of-life even if your brain dead and survive let's say 20 years on a respirator that is an ethical question again, but there's a quality-of-life for the mentioned and that's something i wonder because we haven't done much on it in the book. is to make it wasn't my concern. i was trying to answer this question. not sure they be kept alive forever. i wasn't making any judgments litigation be kept alive forever. i don't think i would want to be. but is this really def? the quality i have a life as a free-lance writer and most people say i would rather than to be the insecurity of it, and
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i decided that i would go on and not on the plug myself. i can't make those decisions. what i was trying to say is deaf. as soon as you go through puberty you can say you are on a slippery slope to death. so is this life worth it or not worth it? is this person dead or not dead, and i don't really see where brain-dead people are dead. the president's council wants to push it a step further, and they want to harvest the 100,000 utter in the persistent, they don't think their lives are worth living either and they want to harvest those people. >> host: as you say you felt the standards for knowledge. it's a 100 page report and i assure you know it well.
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in 2008, the president's council. >> guest: if you read it carefully they said just the the vegetative state person would harvest it. >> host: the way that i read it is they were trying to adjudicate between those but thought it was too high and too low and that may be somebody that's free debatable there is no question about that that that might not be the appropriate candidate and others that felt in fact we might even return to the cardiovascular standard so the has adjudicated a lot and most of the people on that condition were not -- or by u.s. assistant of folks treacly involved which is different from -- >> host: that is a debate for sure.
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>> guest: it's the decision they made recommendations on how you would harvest a patient. they said we don't want to freak out the transplant retrieval surgeons because they would be opened and breathing and so we have to give these donors sedatives so as not to upset the doctors. i will find to the reference that that's true. >> host: let's move on to you. i notice that we are moving along and we only have about ten minutes. you mentioned and here you have diabetes, and as you know, that is one of the bigger risk factors for developing a renal failure. not saying you will but statistically over about half of the folks that ultimately need kidneys in this country it is because of diabetes, if you did need -- if you did need a kidney, what would you do, would
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you opt for dialysis, have you thought about that? >> i'm 66. >> host: look at you, you are spicy as can be. >> guest: i have my evolutionary by double. i just -- we live in a society that is so in title i don't believe i am entitled to more years. i of a good life. this is eight. >> host: okay. actually, you have a nice few pages and hear about not so much the pitfall of avoiding death but at that time you have between now and death and there are things you thought one should do or at least you should do. can you talk about that?
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>> guest: i have some examples that sound pretty silly but we waste so much time in our lives and i don't want to waste any more time. i don't go to weddings. they don't work out. what do the work out or not i know it is not dependent on my attendance or non-attendance. i had a funny conversation with my roofer he said we can get to 40 year shingles and i said well, that means er can either choose between the shingles that would last 15 years after i'm dead or 25 years. why would i possibly care. he said that is a funny way to think about it. i said no, it is perfectly reasonable. so it seems my way of thinking of things i don't want to waste
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the time, i don't want to do the things i don't have to do. i want to get things done that i haven't done. people's worries now just amuse me. and i'm in a position - 66, living on borrowed time. i've avoided the pitfalls of life. having a good time. >> host: it sounds like a therapeutic exercise for you. you start off anxious about death and now sounds like you are philosophical indifference. >> guest: on a explain to people with because i'm going to die. you haven't talked about your kid me. >> host: that's because this is about you. this got me interested in your topic and i'm very concerned about the shortage certainly. [inaudible]
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those are the donors i would like to see more of. >> guest: are you close to your donor? >> host: i'm much closer to her now and i was. we were not even that close. there was if third party and really loved you speechless, an amazing thing she did. >> guest: what was her reason for doing it? >> host: she was a fine humanitarian. she did know me and i am more than happy to talk with you about this after because i've become very passionate about, i even think we might compensate people for their organs but that's a whole nother issue. what i want to know from you is you have written a controversial book and i don't believe your others have been this controversial. >> guest: my previous one was non-western and the debt that we go to the ancient non-western
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cultures and got a lot who were not necessarily white. >> host: when did you write that book? >> guest: ten years ago. >> host: >> guest: i got a lot of hate mail on that. >> host: and a lot of pushback. >> guest: more dramatic, don't you think? [laughter] if you're a journalist you live for that. we can't do what we can upset and that is -- >> host: and stimulate questions. >> guest: that's another way of putting it. >> host: it's healthy and healthy skepticism for a science writer that's very important. what's next for you? >> guest: you know, i want to do a big book about puppies and kittens and horrible they are and see if i get as much hate mail on that.
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i like to stay out of the four texts for a while. >> host: it's been very interesting to talk to you about the book the tie was the undead organ harvesting the ice water test, part cadavers telemedicine is blurring the line between life and death and someone that's taken it on with a lot of passion. thank you. >> guest: thank you. that was "after words" booktv said dart program in which authors of the latest books are interviewed by public policy makers, legislators and others familiar with their material. "after words" errors every weekend on booktv at 10 p.m. on
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saturday, 12 p.m. and 9 p.m. on sunday and 12 a.m. on monday. you can also watch authors on line. go to o and click on "after words" on the book tv series and topics on the upper right side of the page. going back the last ten years and to all free lessons. one, the most important lesson is from the most important thing to happen in the last ten years was nothing to read the last ten years never saw another successful terrorist attack in the united states, and if the most important question to ask is why, and whether it was worth it. to me the most important decision is one that president bush made as the commander in chief and chief executive with the constitution on the very night of 9/11 which was to train the attacks as an act of war. i think the way we thought about it in the justice department of
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that time is that any country that had attacked us in the same way on september 11 does al qaeda no one would have had any doubt we've routt war. the only difference is al qaeda was that a nation state and the important constitutional issue is could we be at war with dimond nation state and i think president bush made that decision for the country and that was important because once you make the call in the united states can turn to the laws and the rules of warfare to deal with al qaeda and the threat of terrorism. all of those i think were in display not just an hour invasion of afghanistan and the use of troops and drones to wipe out much of al qaeda's existing leadership at the time of 9/11 but also put on display in the successful operation to kill osama bin laden over the summer which i think of as press event
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obama's foreign policy national security achievement the last two and a half years. here use of intelligence provided by people who didn't feet and under the law of the war, electronic surveillance producing more intelligence to locate where osama bin laden had been hiding and then the use of military force to go out and kill him. under rules of the criminal justice system which the administrations of both political parties used in their approach to terrorism before my alevin we were having instead invited and trying to arrest him after he had committed a crime. they switched to the approach of war made our policy forward-looking to try to stop people like osama bin laden from attacking the united states before they could attack. the second lesson i would draw from the last ten years and also help us to look forward is

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