Bioethics Blogs

Brain Death: Legal Obligations and the Courts

I just published “Brain Death: Legal Obligations and the Courts”  with Christopher M. Burkle (Department of Anesthesiology, Mayo Clinic) in Seminars in Neurology 2015; 35(2): 174-179.  The whole issue is on brain death.

Here is the abstract:  “Brain death, or death determined by neurological criteria, has been legally adopted in all U.S. states for decades. Despite its long-established history, a lack of clear understanding has led to disputes requiring a legal forum for resolution. Recently, physicians and hospitals across the country have been impacted by a growing number of disputes about brain death.” 

“The authors offer clinicians a historical perspective on the evolution of brain death as a legal cause of death in the United States. They then review the more common legal categories of disputes encountered, including representative court cases for each. This overview provides physicians with a general legal perspective on brain death so they may better appreciate the pertinent issues if and when later confronted.”

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