Dead Man Talking—and “Feeling Pretty Good”

Mark Twain, reading an obituary for himself in the newspaper, quipped, “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” But at least no one tried to bring it about. Zach Dunlap was pronounced dead after an ATV accident, and his body was about to be harvested for organs, when he responded to stimuli:

Dunlap said one thing he does remember is hearing the doctors pronounce him dead.

“I’m glad I couldn’t get up and do what I wanted to do,” he said.

Asked if he would have wanted to get up and shake them and say he’s alive, Dunlap responded: “Probably would have been a broken window that went out.”

His father, Doug, said he saw the results of the brain scan.

“There was no activity at all, no blood flow at all.”

It’s important, when thinking about cases in medical ethics, to realize just how little we know.

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