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.”

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.