New York Organ Donor Network Accused of Pressuring Doctors to Declare Patients 'Dead' Prematurely

| by Michael Allen

According to a lawsuit recently filed, the New York Organ Donor Network pressured hospital doctors to declare some patients 'brain dead' so that their organs could be harvested.

The suit also claims that the New York Organ Donor Network hired marketing and sales professionals to “coach” workers to pressure the next of kin to sign organ donor documents, reports the New York Post.

The lawsuit was filed by Patrick McMahon (pictured), a nurse practitioner, who claims he was fired as a transplant coordinator for protesting the practice.

When McMahon objected, another network employee told hospital personnel that McMahon was “an untrained troublemaker with a history of raising frivolous issues and questions."

McMahon told the New York Post: "I had a reputation for raising a red flag. They're playing God. I have been in Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan in combat. I worked on massive brain injuries, trauma, gunshot wounds, IEDs. I have seen worse cases than this and the victims recover."

The law suit cited four examples of improper organ harvesting.

One of the alleged incidents happened in September 2011, when a 19-year-old man injured in a car wreck was admitted to Nassau University Medical Center.

The man was still trying to breathe and showed signs of brain activity, but doctors declared him brain dead under pressure from New York Organ Donor Network officials, including Director Michael Goldstein, who allegedly said “This kid is dead, you got that?”

New York Organ Donor Network spokeswoman Julia Rivera said she hadn’t seen the lawsuit, but said that only doctors can declare a patient brain dead, a fact that no one has contested.