Mexican priest, stabbed on altar in May, pronounced dead (brain-wise) but heart still beating

Mexican priest, stabbed on altar in May, pronounced dead [(brain-wise) but heart still beating]

With comment by CWN news director Phil Lawler

Catholic World News – August 03, 2017

A Mexican priest who was stabbed by an assailant after celebrating Mass at the Mexico City cathedral on May 15 is now considered brain-dead, the Mexico City archdiocese has announced.

Father José Miguel Machorro has shown signs of recovery from his wounds, and was moved out of an intensive-care unit at the end of June. But he suffered a reversal this week and was transferred back into intensive care.

On August 2 the archdiocese said that the director of the intensive-care unit had pronounced Father Machorro brain-dead, “so one has to wait for the heart to stop beating.”

Another example of confusion in the terminology of ‘brain-death’

By Phil Lawler | Aug 03, 2017

The Mexico City archdiocese gives us the sad news that Father José Miguel Machorro, who was stabbed by an assailant on the altar after celebrating Mass in May, has died. May he rest in peace.

While I mourn the priest’s death, however, I can’t help noticing the awkward form of the archdiocesan announcement. He has been pronounced brain-dead, we are told, “so one has to wait for the heart to stop beating.”

If the archdiocese is still waiting for his heart to stop beating, why announce his death now? More to the point, if his heart is beating, why pronounce him dead?

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