Document Detail

Diagnosis of death in comatose patients under resuscitation treatment: a critical review of the Harvard report.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  973624     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
In this Article, which draws primarily on continental West European views on death and dying, the author contends that the Harvard criteria for irreversible coma (1968) are not reliable for diagnosing death in comatose patients under resuscitation treatment. The Article suggests that use of the Harvard Criteria to diagnose death leaves such patients legally unprotected against surgical assaults such as organ removal and biomedical experiments while they still may be living and capable of perception, possibly including the perception of pain and the spoken word. An alternative to the Harvard Criteria--angiography--is offered, and several additional issues related to the definition and diagnosis of death are discussed. Finally, the author suggests that even prior to death, termination of resuscitation treatment of irreversibly comatose patients, though followed by death, should be lawful.
H A van Till--d'Aulnis de Bourouill
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  American journal of law & medicine     Volume:  2     ISSN:  0098-8588     ISO Abbreviation:  Am J Law Med     Publication Date:  1976  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1976-12-03     Completed Date:  1976-12-03     Revised Date:  2004-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7509572     Medline TA:  Am J Law Med     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1-40     Citation Subset:  E; IM    
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MeSH Terms
Brain Death
Cerebral Angiography
Hypoxia, Brain / diagnosis
Legislation, Medical
United States
Withholding Treatment

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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