or Organ Farms?
Dr. Jeffrey I. Frank, director of the Neuro-intensive Care Unit at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic, was stunned when the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy accused him of being part of a "conspiracy" to "commit homicide so as to obtain organs." 1 The investigators at the board accused Dr. Frank of creating a medical protocol that explicitly "hastened death" of nonterminally ill patients, that did not wait "for the irreversibility of death" before organs were procured, and that demanded "the removal of organs from living people." 2 It seemed from the charges that Dr. Frank was a modern-day Dr. Frankenstein.
How had this respected neurologist come under such a dark cloud? Dr. Frank's troubles began two years previously, when his colleague at the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. James Mayes, a transplant surgeon and head of the organ transplant service Life Banc, requested him to review a proposed medical protocol intended to increase the number of organ donations at the clinic. Dr. Frank was not personally involved in procuring or transplanting organs, but as director of the hospital's neurosurgical intensive care unit, he was required to give his input because all potential organ donors at the clinic must have catastrophic brain injury.
At the time of this incident in 1997, the only eligible organ donors at the Cleveland Clinic were people declared "brain dead." The