Brain Death Historical Perspectives and Current Concerns

  • Joanne Lynn


Brain death is widely accepted as death by medical and legal professionals and by the public generally, even though having brain death occur substantially before cardiovascular death has become possible only during the past few decades. The first description of what was then termed coma dépassé appeared in 1959 (Mollaret and Goulon, 1959). Nearly 10 years later, a particularly persuasive article was published by a prestigious committee at Harvard Medical School that made widely acceptable the criteria for diagnosing death on the basis of neurological signs in the presence of continuing cardiorespiratory support (Ad Hoc Committee, 1968).


Brain Death Entire Brain Current Concern Unfinished Business Irreversible Cessation 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joanne Lynn
    • 1
  1. 1.ICU Research and GeriatricsGeorge Washington University Medical CenterUSA

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