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Death and Organ Donation 

Death and Organ Donation
Death and Organ Donation

Robert C. Macauley

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date: 19 September 2020

The concept of death by neurological criteria (i.e., brain death) was formulated in 1968 to describe a state of complete and irreversible loss of brain function. While there remain philosophical debates about the validity of the concept, it is enshrined in state law—with a few notable limitations—and impacts both the role of continued somatic support as well as making possible the donation of vital organs. In light of the shortage of organs available for transplantation, greater attention has recently been paid to death by circulatory criteria procurement protocols. One significant source of disagreement is the duration of pulselessness required to declare death and whether circulation needs to be irreversibly ceased or only permanently so.

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