April 14, 2024

When love in a marriage is dead…

What if your spouse-to-be is brain dead?

Wang and Lin's wedding / Wang family 

Here’s a curly one about informed consent. Can you marry someone who is brain dead? A Taiwanese man did recently, with his fiancée in a hospital bed and hooked up to a life support system.

The wife, identified only as Wang, had two sons aged 12 and 13 with her partner, Lin, but they had never married.

A few moments before she was taken off life support, Lin and his unconscious bride had a bedside wedding witnessed by her family. The couple was dressed in matching red T-shirts and the bride’s heavily bandaged head was adorned with a white veil.

“We can finally get married,” Lin said as he slipped the wedding band onto Wang's finger. “Please hurry up and wake up. Do you like the ring that I chose?”

Wang was knocked over by a car making an illegal turn in a suburb of Taipei in late August and suffered a devastating brain injury. A few days later, her family allowed doctors to withdraw her life support. Twelve of her organs were transplanted.

Michael Cook is editor of BioEdge

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