Monday, January 13, 2014

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" - January 13, 2014

Talking about the "things that matter most" on January 13

4:00 – Kresta Comments

4:20 – Jahi McMath and “Brain Death”
Jahi McMath, the 13-year-old girl who was declared legally dead by hospital staff and county officials after suffering complications from a routine tonsillectomy, has been released to her family to seek treatment elsewhere. The move comes after a settlement was reached Friday in Alameda County Superior Court between the girl’s family and Children’s Hospital. The family had been fighting to remove Jahi from the hospital since December 12, when hospital staff declared the girl “brain dead” after she went into cardiac arrest while recovering from surgery. We talk about this case, but also the larger question for Catholics about brain death. Dr. John Haas of the National Catholic Bioethics Center and Dr. Paul Bryne, Neonatologist and Pediatrician, have differing views on a Catholic understanding of brain death. They join us.

5:00 – Study of 36 Chinese Abortion-Breast Cancer Studies a “Game Changer”
A systematic review and meta-analysis of 36 Chinese studies by Dr. Yubei Huang and his colleagues in the prestigious journal, Cancer Causes Control, last week reported a significant 44% increased breast cancer risk among women with at least one induced abortion, compared to women without induced abortions.  Huang's team cited and supports a 1996 review and meta-analysis, led by Joel Brind, Ph.D. and colleagues at Penn State, who found a 30% risk elevation for women with any history of induced abortions. We talk to Dr. Brind about his long-time fight to get the medical community to recognize the abortion – breast cancer link.

5:20 – More of the Holy Spirit: How to Keep the Fire Burning in Our Hearts
In the last forty years, many Catholics have experienced an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in their lives that resulted in a new passion for God and a zeal for spreading the gospel. In addition to a newfound love of prayer, Scripture, and the Eucharist, many have been blessed with the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as tongues and healing. Yet as the years go by, many often experience a waning of the gifts of the Spirit as well as a luke-warmness creeping into their lives. What can we do to keep that fire for God, which may have been ignited many years ago, burning brightly in our hearts? Sr. Ann Shields is here to tell us.


  1. Al, thanks for presenting today's excellent debate on the Catholic view of brain death. You did a flawless job as moderator. Great program.

    1. The key word here is "irreversible." I wish that Dr. Byrne would have pointed out (as I have seen him do before) that there are cases where a person has recovered from so-called "brain death." It doesn't even have to be a miracle--all that is needed is for the soul to reawaken the parts of the brain that have become dormant, and I believe that the soul is still present to the body as long as there are signs of life. Why don't we consider general rule/idea that the soul is present to the body even 30 minutes after death, after which point the death could be regarded as absolute, definite, and "irreversible"?