TV: Private Practice—The Organ Donation of a “Brainless” Baby is Murder?


Technically, yes.

A baby who doesn’t have a frontal lobe—like Amelia’s baby—will have no semblance of a life, but because it has a working brainstem, it can’t officially be declared brain-dead in order to harvest its organs. While technically the organ donation of a baby without a frontal lobe is murder, for Sam and Charlotte to be so outraged about “killing a baby” to save the lives of several other babies is lacking in compassion.

This is juxtaposed with Pete’s display of utter empathy for a patient of his whom he assisted in suicide and received a murder charge for his trouble. The shades between right and wrong might be slightly grey in these two scenarios, but when death is a better option than a life not worth living, organ donation (a procedure which I registered for this year) and euthanasia, respectively, couldn’t be more right.

I really like the way Private Practice continues to show the abovementioned light and shade in the medical issues they tackle: reproductive rights, sexuality and assault, death. But I still stand by the notion that you can’t be a doctor and not understand when life begins and that after it has, that it’s not always worth it.

Related: Private Practice: Pro-Choice?

Private Practice: “Rape is Rape”.

Top 11 TV Moments of 2011.

Grey’s Anatomy Final Asks “When Does Life Begin?”

Image source unknown.

3 thoughts on “TV: Private Practice—The Organ Donation of a “Brainless” Baby is Murder?

  1. Pingback: On the (Rest of the) Net. « The Early Bird Catches the Worm

  2. No, it’s not murder. Think about it, brain-dead patients are organ donors all the time and technically they’re still alive. Just like Amelia’s baby, neither a brain-dead patient or the baby are actually dead.

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