Track topics on Twitter Track topics that are important to you
It has been fifty years since a report by an ad hoc committee of Harvard Medical School ushered in the widespread adoption of brain death as a definition of death. Yet brain death remains disputed as an acceptable definition within bioethics. The continuous debate among bioethicists has had three key recurring features: first and foremost, argument over alleged flaws in the conceptual logic and consistency of the "whole-brain" approach as a description of the meaning of death; second, efforts to fix perceived limitations of brain death-based practices to optimize transplantation, especially given that transplantation was the presumed original intended purpose of the definition; and third, a basic unease provoked by the experience of using the criteria and managing a body in this state of "irreversible coma." The third feature is the one I find the most compelling, though it is less explored, and it persists because of the failures of the prior two. Brain death remains strange-to medical personnel, families, philosophers. That is not because it hasn't yet been logically argued well enough or conceptually framed adequately, but because those things don't matter as much to resolving this strangeness as the bioethical approach to brain death over the last fifty years has assumed it does. It is necessary to look to other things that can anchor the aims of medicine in the midst of this strangeness.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: The Hastings Center report
Five decades ago, Henry Knowles Beecher, a renowned professor of research anesthesiology, sought to solve a problem created by modern medicine. The solution proposed by Beecher and his colleagues on t...
At its inception, "brain death" was proposed not as a coherent concept but as a useful one. The 1968 Ad Hoc Committee of the Harvard Medical School to Examine the Definition of Brain Death gave no rea...
Brain death, or the determination of death by neurological criteria, has been described as a legal fiction. Legal fictions are devices by which the law treats two analogous things (in this case, biolo...
The determination of death by neurological criteria-"brain death"-has long been legally established as death in all U.S. jurisdictions. Moreover, the consequences of determining brain death have been ...
Among the old and new controversies over brain death, none is more fundamental than whether brain death is equivalent to the biological phenomenon of human death. Here, I defend this equivalency by of...
This study examines muscle movements of elecromyography in adults with brain death. Half of the participants will have brain death, the other half will be healthy volunteers.
The proposed SBIR Phase I study tests the feasibility of PATH neurotraining for improving cognitive skills in older adults and, potentially, forestalling or protecting against cognitive de...
There is evidence of the association of brain death and inflammation, affecting outcomes of transplanted organs, but in a way not fully understood. Observational studies suggest that the u...
In France the diagnosis of brain death relies on electroencephalography (EEG) or cerebral angiography. Concerning the latter a time of 6 hours is mandatory between the clinical diagnosis a...
The proposed study tests the feasibility (Phase I) and efficacy (Phase II) of PATH neurotraining to improve working memory and attention in TBI patients rapidly and effectively to provide ...
A system of medicine which aims at discovering the exact nature of the relationship between the emotions and bodily function, affirming the principle that the mind and body are one.
A state of prolonged irreversible cessation of all brain activity, including lower brain stem function with the complete absence of voluntary movements, responses to stimuli, brain stem reflexes, and spontaneous respirations. Reversible conditions which mimic this clinical state (e.g., sedative overdose, hypothermia, etc.) are excluded prior to making the determination of brain death. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp348-9)
A reduction in brain oxygen supply due to ANOXEMIA (a reduced amount of oxygen being carried in the blood by HEMOGLOBIN), or to a restriction of the blood supply to the brain, or both. Severe hypoxia is referred to as anoxia, and is a relatively common cause of injury to the central nervous system. Prolonged brain anoxia may lead to BRAIN DEATH or a PERSISTENT VEGETATIVE STATE. Histologically, this condition is characterized by neuronal loss which is most prominent in the HIPPOCAMPUS; GLOBUS PALLIDUS; CEREBELLUM; and inferior olives.
Unexpected rapid natural death due to cardiovascular collapse within one hour of initial symptoms. It is usually caused by the worsening of existing heart diseases. The sudden onset of symptoms, such as CHEST PAIN and CARDIAC ARRHYTHMIAS, particularly VENTRICULAR TACHYCARDIA, can lead to the loss of consciousness and cardiac arrest followed by biological death. (from Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine, 7th ed., 2005)
A conserved protein interaction domain of the death domain superfamily that is structurally similar to the DEATH EFFECTOR DOMAIN and CASPASE RECRUITMENT DOMAIN. Death domains bind each other to form oligomers and occur on DEATH DOMAIN RECEPTORS, where they are required for APOPTOSIS signaling and non-apoptotic functions.
Bioethics is the study of controversial ethics brought about by advances in biology and medicine. Bioethicists are concerned with the ethical questions that arise in the relationships among life sciences, biotechnology, medicine, politics, law, and philo...
Organ transplantation is the moving of an organ from one body to another or from a donor site to another location on the patient's own body, for the purpose of replacing the recipient's damaged or absent organ. The emerging field of regenerative ...