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Protection of Conscience Project

Service, not Servitude

Report prompts protocols for diagnosis of brain death

American Medical News, Oct. 14, 2002.

Note: Confidence in the organ donation process depends heavily in the process of establishing that the donor is, in fact, dead. Dr. Peter Gruen's efforts to ensure transparency in the process will not only benefit families, but should help to minimize conflicts of conscience among members of organ donation teams. [Administrator]
Andis Robeznieks
AMNews staff

After reviewing the 78 brain deaths documented at the hospital in 1999, J. Peter Gruen, MD, and colleagues at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, discovered that the diagnosis was highly variable and concluded that standards for practice and documentation were sorely needed. . .Dr. Gruen believes each of the brain-dead patients was correctly diagnosed, but he said it's important that the patients' family members have the same level of confidence. . . A checklist of tests to be used in making a brain-death declaration was established, as was a brain-death credentialing committee. . . (Full text of article)


Brain death documentation: analysis and issues. Wang MY, Wallace P, Gruen JP. Department of Neurological Surgery, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90033, USA.
Neurosurgery 2002 Sep;51(3):731-5; discussion 735-6 PMID: 12188952




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