Health Sciences 2610F/G Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Brain Death, Organ Donation, Principle Of Double Effect
The use of ventilators forced us to change the definition of death. Determining when a patient dies can also be controversial. Prior to 1968, the only criterion used to determine death was the cessation of cardiopulmonary function. Harvard in 1968 said the patient can be declared dead when all brain function ceases. Whole brain criterion of death has been widely accepted, yet some argued its physiologically inaccurate. Two definitions of death: one for persons and one for human organisms. Death not only pertains to the body. Beyond a certain point, it can be determined that the loss is irreversible, Whole-brain view of death is useful to determine organ donation, yet it allows doctors to turn off life support without legal implications. If the doctor turns off the respirator, it"s his/her fault the patient died but if the doctor didn"t put the patient on a respirator, the patient would"ve died of the underlying condition.