Posted on January 2, 2018 at 3:05 PM
In his customary accessible style, Art Caplan calls on the media and clinicians to stop using the term “brain death.” He also calls on them to stop otherwise suggesting that brain death is not death.
But Caplan gets into more contested ground when he argues “No family should be able to insist on ICU care for the brain dead anymore than they would someone pronounced dead due to cardiopulmonary failure.”
In fact, four U.S. states permit families to “insist on ICU care for the brain dead.” Two ongoing lawsuits in Toronto allege that families have a similar right under the Canadian Charter.
My comprehensive treatment of these issues is shortly forthcoming in the Journal of Legal Medicine.