Determination of Death by Neurological Criteria


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Abstract

Until 1968, when an ad hoc Harvard Medical School Committee published a landmark paper calling for determination of death using neurological rather than cardiovascular criteria, death was considered to have occurred when the heart irreversibly ceased beating. Since that time, every jurisdiction in the country has come to accept through law or court decision neurological criteria to define death. The authors review the issue of death by neurological criteria in light of current guidelines and recent advances.

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