Posted on March 18, 2019 at 2:52 PM
In a recent editorial, the clinical lead for organ donation in the UK and an Australian law professor opine: “Although the medical criteria and their implications have remained relatively consistent over time, the societal decision to accept the medical community’s proposal that brain death is death has never gone without legal challenge. Yet, from the above cases, it is in the USA that uncertainly seems the greatest.”
Notably, the American Academy of Neurology recently “endorsed the belief that preserved neuroendocrine function may be present despite irreversible injury of the cerebral hemispheres and brainstem and is not inconsistent with the whole brain standard of death.”
But since the law in every U.S. state requires irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, it seems outside the scope of medical discretion to disregard functions of the hypothalamus and pituitary which are parts of the brain.