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Author Archive: Robert Veatch



by Robert M. Veatch, Ph.D.

In 2017, 10,288 people in the U.S. donated organs after they died. Most were pronounced dead using brain criteria, but 1883 were declared dead the old-fashioned way (using circulatory criteria) because their hearts had stopped beating. They became so-called DCD or “Donation after Circulatory Death” donors. When the heart stoppage indicates that circulation has ceased, the physician pronouncing death must wait to make sure that the heart will not spontaneously restart. Restarting is referred to as “autoresuscitation.” The waiting period (sometimes called the “no-touch period”) is often—but not always–based on the time needed to rule out autoresuscitation and is quite controversial.…

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