Show Summary Details
Page of

Diagnosis of death and organ donation 

Diagnosis of death and organ donation
Diagnosis of death and organ donation

Paul Murphy

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 26 February 2021

Death is the permanent loss of the capacity for consciousness and respiration, both of which are functions of the brain-stem. Death can be diagnosed by somatic, circulatory, or neurological criteria, which vary between countries and are influenced by prevailing attitudes towards death, legal frameworks, and available medical technologies. When organ retrieval is planned after circulatory death, there is need for a time-critical schedule for the diagnosis of death using circulatory criteria. These require the absence of consciousness and respiratory effort to be demonstrated, and emphasize the need for explicit clarity that resuscitation should not be instigated or continued, how the absence of the circulation should identified, and the minimum period of observation that is required to be assured that the possibility of spontaneous return of the circulation has passed.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.