How do people actually die of a single organ failing?


With reference to Archie Battersbee case, the boy is essentially dead, with his life supported by machines keeping him alive. How do people then die in hospital from much less smaller problems, let’s say liver failure or kindey failure or pancreatitis. Why can’t we plug them to a machine that acts like the failing organ keeping them alive until they can get a donor?

In: 3

Some of these organs just do fairly complex regulatory roles. The liver for instance disarms stuff it is essentially your toxin cleaning system… this includes kinda unpacking hormones and digesting sugars and such…so it is quite a complex thing for some machine to do itself.

The lungs and heart can be aided by machines somewhat and many more can be delayed with machines too… but ultimately if you die of organ failure it is just one important link keeping you alive breaking down.

It’s extremely stressful to the body to be on one of those machines. The machine might keep you alive, but it’s not the same as a real organ. Plus the chance of stroke/infection is much greater when on one of those machines.

Because we don’t properly understand how all our organs operate. We know the liver and kidneys work together to remove toxins from the body. We know that has to do with enzymes, we even have them labeled with specific properties they break down. However understanding the process doesn’t equal being able to recreate it.

Furthermore, in the U.S.A. it’s not cost effective.

People die from smaller problems because we are merciful.

If you really wanted to, you could hook someone up to a continual renal replacement system that does that the kidneys do, set up extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation to keep the blood oxygenated if the lungs can’t, a left-ventricular assistance device can keep a heart that isn’t remotely strong enough to pump blood on its own more-or-less working, parenteral nutrition can dump nutrients into your blood to replace all the normal mechanisms of eating, and we can keep you floating in antibiotics because all of this is just asking for infection.

But *why?*

At some point, you’re not fixing a human being who will get up and have any quality of life, you’re just keeping them from being technically dead and praying they’re not aware of what’s going on in any way under the sedation. And if you’re that messed up, donation’s not a fix.