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01/25/2020

An Incoherent Proposal to Revise the Uniform Determination of Death Act

External Link - Source: The Hastings Center

It has been 50 years since the medical profession adopted the determination of death according to neurological criteria, known as “brain death.” This doctrine was codified in 1981 in the Uniform Determination of Death Act (UDDA), which declares,  “An individual who has sustained either (1) irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions or (2) irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem, is dead.” In a recent article, Ariane Lewis, Richard Bonnie, and Thaddeus Pope identify four problems with the UDDA and its implementation, and propose a revised formulation.

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