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AJOB 2.0: Taking Bioethics to a New Level
David Magnus, Kayhan Parsi & Richard Sharp

Since its inception nearly 15 years ago, the vision behind the American Journal of Bioethics was to create a premier bioethics journal that would engender spirited academic debate and invite broader public conversation. Traditional bioethics journals were good at publishing articles. But they rarely generated any immediate conversation. The premise behind AJOB was different. Because so many of the...

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Target Article

Whither Brain Death?
James L. Bernat

The publicity surrounding the recent McMath and Muñoz cases has rekindled public interest in brain death: the familiar term for human death determination by showing the irreversible cessation of clinical brain functions. The concept of brain death was developed decades ago to permit withdrawal of therapy in hopeless cases and to permit organ donation. It has become widely established medical prac...

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Changing the Conversation About Brain Death
Robert D. Truog & Franklin G. Miller

We seek to change the conversation about brain death by highlighting the distinction between brain death as a biological concept versus brain death as a legal status. The fact that brain death does not cohere with any biologically plausible definition of death has been known for decades. Nevertheless, this fact has not threatened the acceptance of brain death as a legal status that permits individ...

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Brain-Dead and Pregnant in Texas
Thomas Wm. Mayo

When a Texas hospital continued ventilator support for a pregnant patient who met the neurological criteria for the determination of death, it acted against the wishes of the patient‘s husband and other family members. The hospital stated that its treatment decision was required under the Texas Advance Directives Act, in particular the “pregnancy exclusion” that instructs providers to contin...

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