Posted on September 26, 2018 at 10:20 AM
Just as there are more brain death cases in the USA, there are also more brain death cases in Canada. The ongoing Ouanounou and McKitty cases in Ontario contend that clinicians must honor religious and moral objections to brain death. Last week, the Ontario Health Professions Appeal and Review Board decided another dispute over brain death.
The patient had been hit by a car and was soon determined brain dead. A family member complained to the College of Physicians and Surgeons (the licensing authority) that the attending physician had exhibited inappropriate communication and behavior.
The College decided to take no action on the complaint. The HPARB affirmed. While the tribunals did not say that the following was required, it is interesting to note that the physician “delayed a formal assessment of brain function” for four days “out of respect for the [family] and her wishes.” Then, once brain death was determined, mechanical ventilation was not discontinued until 15 days later.