Live Anencephalic Organ Donation


One of the most sickening and infuriating things about carrying a baby with anencephaly is that the medical community views these babies as brain dead and with a lack of “personhood” (the quality or condition of being an individual person). Often times this leads to a push to offer these babies up for organ donation, as if to say they can live on in another’s baby. Here’s the problem with that logic, these babies are individual people with likes and dislikes, they may be missing parts of their brains, but they are still people and any mother who has carried one of these babies will testify to that. If they are born alive, they are often cognizant (although they may lack the ability to communicate), and they are absolutely not brain dead, or vegetative.

To donate the organs of an anencephalic baby (which does happen), a surgeon would have to take a living and aware baby, put it under anesthesia and remove it’s organs piece by piece. This sickens me. A study in 1988 indicates that anencephalic babies are functionally closer to normal newborns than they are to adults in chronic vegetative states. How then is it ok to treat them so brutally? Germany, Japan, and Holland have programs in place for anencephalic organ donation, and many are trying to start programs like that here in the U.S. This cannot happen.