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Is Consent Required for Clinicians to Make a Determination of Death by Neurologic Criteria?

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Death Determination by Neurologic Criteria

Part of the book series: Advances in Neuroethics ((AIN))

Abstract

The overwhelming weight of authority in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom holds that clinicians are not legally or ethically required to obtain family consent before making a determination of death by neurologic criteria. There is a consensus among professional guidelines, a consensus in statutes, and a near consensus among court decisions. Moreover, prevailing practice does not require consent. Accordingly, increasingly vocal proponents of a consent requirement bear a heavy burden to overcome the presumptive legitimacy of the status quo. While their arguments have some validity, proponents cannot surmount the weightier considerations against imposing a consent requirement. Nevertheless, even though clinicians and hospitals are not legally required to obtain consent, they should still notify families about the intent to make a determination of death by neurologic criteria and offer temporary reasonable accommodations when feasible.

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Pope, T.M. (2022). Is Consent Required for Clinicians to Make a Determination of Death by Neurologic Criteria?. In: Lewis, A., Bernat, J.L. (eds) Death Determination by Neurologic Criteria. Advances in Neuroethics. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-15947-3_21

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-15947-3_21

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