Errands and Dead People

It seems that because I'm out of school and not yet employed, my girlfriend assumes that I have nothing to do these days and regularly sends me out on errands. But obviously I'm busy enough that I haven't had the opportunity to post on NP for a few days!

Larry Green of North Carolina was sent to a morgue after he was hit by a car and declared dead. A few hours later, the medical examiner at the morgue unzipped the bodybag and noticed Green was still breathing. Quoth the article: "Though state law outlines how people can be declared brain dead, no statute says who is authorized to declare a person dead, said Dr. John Butts, chief medical examiner for North Carolina. 'As a practical matter, people are regularly proclaimed dead by medical personnel who are not physicians,' Butts said. First responders, such as firefighters and emergency medical technicians, generally have procedures to follow before someone can be declared dead, he said."

I've heard other horror stories like this, including medical personnel declaring that while a particular person was alive at the time, they had zero chance of survival, and so was to be harvested for organs. Harvested for organs while still alive. An argument for this is to ensure maximum freshness. I kid you not. While I don't know how many of these stories are true, it still makes me very reticent to obtain an organ donor's card. While the rational part of my brain fully supports the idea of harvesting organs off of zero-probability survivors, as long as I don't know what the procedure is for determining the probability of survival, I'm have low confidence in the system.

On the topic of dead people, the RIAA has sued an alleged file swapper, who alledgedly traded over 700 songs. The kicker is that she's dead, and when she was alive, she never owned a computer. According to her daughter, she hated computers, and objected to having a computer in the house. Following this announcement, the RIAA has decided to dismiss the case, to which pundits respond "The RIAA is getting soft."

 
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