You’re gonna say it’s because, technically, a child with a working brain stem can’t be declared brain dead even though he’ll never walk or talk or move or eat, even though he’s missing the parts of his brain that he needs to have a life. Not just be alive, but have a life. To love, to think, to know words and feelings, to be conscious. You’re gonna talk to me about medicine and technicalities and the failings of science. Yeah. But the thing is, that’s not why you won’t do the harvest. It’s because it’s unimaginable. What I’m asking you to do is unimaginable. It’s horrible. It’s excruciating. I’m asking you to help dismantle my baby for parts. And there’s no piece of anyone’s soul that can hold that and feel okay. But I’m asking. I’m asking you. I’m his mother. And I’m asking you to do this. And you want to know why? It’s because I did a little research, Sam. Science. In Chicago, there’s this baby girl, 6 weeks old, with pulmonary hypertension who needs new lungs. Outside Detroit there is a 10-day-old boy who was born blind, but could see if he had new corneas. I read this blog about this 14-month-old kid named Gideon in San Diego who’s been on a heart-lung machine for months because he needs one tiny valve in his heart. There’s burned babies who need skin. There’s infants who need livers, and toddlers who need kidneys, and there’s even this one 4-month-old girl named Lulu who needs a multiple-organ transplant. My baby could save all of those babies. He could be responsible for kids leaving the hospital and going home and growing up and falling in love and having sex and arguing with their boyfriends and making mistakes and living and maybe not ruining their lives with drugs. What I’m asking you to do is unimaginable. But it’s also everything those other mothers could ever imagine. I’m his mom. And I’m asking you to do this. If I can get there, why can’t you?
— Amelia Shepherd, Private Practice 5x22