Neurocritical Care

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 446–448 | Cite as

Objections to Brain Death Determination: Religion and Neuroscience

  • Mohamed Y. RadyEmail author
Letter to the Editor

To the Editor

Lewis surveyed rabbis to determine religious attitudes toward death declaration by neurologic criteria or brain death (BD) and subsequent withdrawal/withholding of medical treatment [1]. Although 97% of rabbis were aware that BD is medically and legally equivalent to cardiopulmonary death in the USA, almost 1 in 4 rabbis believed that BD is not equivalent to death, and almost 1 in 5 rabbis agreed with continuation of mechanical ventilation, initiation of hydration, nutrition, additional clinically warranted therapies, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation in BD [1]. Lewis is applauded for conducting this novel and much-needed survey of Jewish faith leaders and would be most informative if faith leaders from other religious affiliations are included in future surveys. Lewis explained that the religious objection to BD stemmed from “varying interpretations of religious texts ± lack of awareness of medical facts about BD…” [1]. Here, it is argued that religious objection to BD...




Conflict of interest

Author MYR declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature and Neurocritical Care Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Critical Care MedicineMayo Clinic HospitalPhoenixUSA

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