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Brain death controversies from the US

Two cases highlight differences in approaches of clinicians and families to the treatment of patients who have suffered brain stem death.

A) In Texas a pregnant woman who is brain dead has been kept on a ventilator because turning it off would harm her unborn child, despite her family and husband wanting the ventilator turned off.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/06/texas-pregnant-brain-dead-woman-life-support

B) In Oakland a child declared brain dead has been kept on a ventilator at her family’s insistence following a court order. The family’s view is that she remains alive until her heart stops beating.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/10/health/the-science-behind-brain-death.html?_r=0

 

 

An American organ procurement organisation has won a court case to retrieve organs from a brain dead young adult who was on the national organ donor register against his family’s wishes.

Read more: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2013/07/11/Judge-ordered-family-to-let-brain-dead-son-donate-organs.html