Wednesday, October 06, 2004
Organ donation group insists man was properly declared dead
DENVER (AP): An organ donor agency Tuesday disputed a coroner's claim that two hospitals allowed vital organs to be removed from a man before they proved he was brain dead.The Donor Alliance, which coordinates organ donation in Colorado and Wyoming, said state law was followed and three doctors verified the medical documentation of the man's brain death. "William Thaddeus Rardin's death was not caused by the removal of his organs for donation,'' the agency said in a statement. On Monday, Montrose County Coroner Mark Young concluded Rardin's death was a homicide, caused by "removal of his internal organs by an organ recovery team.'' Young alleged neither St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction nor Montrose Memorial Hospital followed accepted medical standards or state law when they declared him brain dead. The coroner said he didn't think the case should be prosecuted, but said current law was vague and urged the Legislature to change it. Montrose County District Attorney Tom Raynes said Tuesday he had not yet spoken with Young and could not comment. Rardin, 31, shot himself in the head Sept. 26. All his organs were transplanted locally.