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Posted on June 2, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Journalist and emergency physician Blair Bigham has a compelling piece in The Walrus, “When Is Dead Actually Dead?”

He writes about how the “line between life and death [has] started to fee blurry.” But particularly interesting is the distributive justice issue raised by accommodating objections to brain death. 

Pursuant to court injunctions, Taquisha McKitty stayed in a Toronto ICU for 16 months after her death. That 24-bed ICU was often at or near capacity during this time. Consequently, patients often waited longer in the ED before an ICU bed was available. Ambulances had to transfer 43 patients to other hospitals . Several surgeries were canceled because no ICU bed was available.

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