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When Are You Dead? 516

Hugh Pickens writes "Dick Teresi writes in the WSJ that becoming an organ donor seems like a noble act, but what doctors won't tell you is that checking yourself off as an organ donor when you renew your driver's license means you are giving up your right to informed consent, and that you may suffer for it, especially if you happen to become a victim of head trauma. Even though they comprise only 1% of deaths, victims of head trauma are the most likely organ donors. Patients who can be ruled brain dead usually have good organs, while organs from people who die from heart failure, circulation, or breathing deteriorate quickly. But here's the weird part. In at least two studies before the 1981 Uniform Determination of Death Act, some 'brain-dead' patients were found to be emitting brain waves, and at least one doctor has reported a case in which a patient with severe head trauma began breathing spontaneously after being declared brain dead. Organ transplantation — from procurement of organs to transplant to the first year of postoperative care — is a $20 billion per year business, with average recipients charged $750,000 for a transplant. At an average of 3.3 donated organs per donor, that is more than $2 million per body. 'In order to be dead enough to bury but alive enough to be a donor, you must be irreversibly brain dead. If it's reversible, you're no longer dead; you're a patient,' writes David Crippen, M.D. 'And once you start messing around with this definition, you're on a slippery slope, and the question then becomes: How dead do you want patients to be before you start taking their organs?'"

Wait For Windows 7 SP1, Support Firm Warns Users 433

CWmike writes "Users should wait for Microsoft to work out the bugs in Windows 7 before jumping on the new OS, computer support company Rescuecom said on Friday. 'From the calls we're getting, as well as our own experience in the past with all Microsoft's operating systems, we're recommending that people stick with their time-tested OS and wait for the dust to settle,' said Josh Kaplan, president of Rescuecom. Citing a litany of reasons, ranging from the risk of losing data during an upgrade to tough economic times, Kaplan urged Windows users to put off upgrading to Windows 7 or buying a new PC with the operating system pre-installed. 'There are some compelling reasons for both businesses and home users to move to Windows 7,' Kaplan said, 'so we're saying "just wait for a bit."' Upgrading an existing machine — whether it's running the eight-year-old Windows XP or the much newer Vista — is particularly risky, he added, especially if users haven't taken time to make a full backup before they migrate their machines. Some users have found that out first hand. Among the top subjects on Microsoft's support forum is one that has put some PCs into an endless reboot loop when their owners tried to upgrade from Vista to Windows 7. Microsoft has not yet come up with a solution that works for all the users who have reported the problem, sparking frustration."

ASHes to ASHes, DOS to DOS.