End-of-Life Care in Muslim Brain-Dead Patients: A 10-Year Experience

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In Muslim countries, end-of-life practices in Muslim brain-dead patients are unknown. We conducted this study to evaluate this issue.


We identified 42 brain-dead patients between 2001 and 2011. The expectant terminal extubation occurred only in 5. Largely due to family opposition, 2 patients remained “full code,” and rests were “do not attempt resuscitation” with varying usage of “life-sustaining” therapies. Only 2 out of 24 eligible patients donated organs. There was minimal involvement of social worker, palliative team, or Muslim chaplain in the end-of-life discussions.


In Muslim patients, the concept of terminal withdrawal and organ donation after brain death is still not well accepted. Future multicenter studies, involving palliative teams, should focus on improving these issues.

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