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Posted on October 12, 2020 at 8:38 AM

A survey of Illinois State Medical Society members shows strong support for Resolution 09.2020-08, to implement a “Statewide Brain Death Protocol.”

The resolution notes that “recent studies have shown that nationwide, inconsistencies exist with regard to oversight of brain death protocols” and “there is similar variation with regard to the protocols themselves.” Inconsistencies among healthcare facilities promote unclear criteria to establish brain death. Differences in protocols between facilities can result in confusion.

The resolution calls for the Illinois State Medical Society to establish a Brain Death Protocol for use by all medical facilities in the state of Illinois. The resolution further calls for ISMS to “support or cause to be introduced legislation to require all healthcare facilities in the state to implement a Brain Death Protocol.”

Relatedly, the Uniform Law Commission has convened a Study Committee to study the need for and feasibility of updating the Uniform Determination of Death Act which has been adopted in most states. Issues to be considered include (1) lack of uniformity in the medical standards used to determine death by neurologic criteria, (2) the relevance of hormonal functions, and (3) whether notice should be provided before a determination of death.

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