Brain Death Is Not The Same As Coma
Brain death differs from other states of unconsciousness in important ways. For example, coma is similar to deep sleep, except that no amount of external stimuli can prompt the brain to become awake and alert. However, the person is alive and recovery is possible. Brain death is often confused with a persistent vegetative state, but these conditions are not the same either. A persistent vegetative state means the person has lost higher brain functions, but their undamaged brain stem still allows essential functions like heart rate and respiration to continue. A person in a vegetative state is alive and may recover to some degree, given time. Brain death means the person has died.
Is Anencephaly A Congenital Neurological Disorder
disorder characterized by absence of the cerebrum and cerebellum, as well as the top of the skull, resulting in exposure of the brain stem. Even though the brain stem is exposed this does not mean that the babies brain or head is completely missing. This is considered one of the more serious birth defects that a baby can have because they baby will never have the brain power to grow and become an adult. Many of these babies are exposed to various infections and will only live up to one week even
Two Versions Of To Build A Fire By Jack London
The story To Build a Fire written by Jack London has two nearly identical versions published in 1902 and 1908 respectively. The latter is better-known and more thought-provoking because of the protagonists death. To begin with, the journey takes place on a cold winter day in Klondike, consists of a man and his dog. The man is ignorant of the extreme coldness and feels confident about travelling alone at fifty degrees below zero. However, he breaks through a thin skin of ice unexpectedly and wets
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Can A Dead Person Cry
After death, there may still be a few shudders or movements of the arms or legs. There could even be an uncontrolled cry because of muscle movement in the voice box. Sometimes there will be a release of urine or stool, but usually only a small amount since so little has probably been eaten in the last days of life.
Making Sense Of What Brain Death Means
How do doctors determine if someone is brain dead? A new brain death guideline from the AAN helps clear things up.
A 78-year-old retired banker was playing poker with some old friends when he collapsed at the card table. Brought to the local emergency room, the man underwent a computed tomography scan, which generates three-dimensional images of the inside of the body. The scan showed massive bleeding into his brain stem. This important part of the brain helps regulate breathing, heart function, and the central nervous system. He had suffered a hemorrhagic , which is caused by the bursting of a blood vessel in the brain.
The man was admitted to the intensive care unit and put on a breathing tube to protect his airway. The neurologist who examined him found that the banker was in a complete, unresponsive . The man didn’t open his eyes or move his head in response to pain. He didn’t breathe on his own. All brain stem reflexes, such as the pupils of the eyes dilating in response to a light shined directly at them, were absent. For 12 hours, the man remained in this condition: He had no brain function but was otherwise stable, with a normal temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure.
Brain Death Means Death
The doctor did not tell the woman that her husband was deadnot in those blunt words. But when the brain has died, there is absolutely no prospect of recovery, even though the heart may still be beating with the help of artificial life support.
Determining Brain Death
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The Heart Will Stop Beating Without A Ventilator
An article from LiveScience explains that some cases of brain death can be especially tough on families, because some of the bodily functions such as a heartbeat continue after brainwave activity has been shown to be absent.
In fact, the heart has an intrinsic electrical system that allows it to continue beating without assistance from the brain, and it can even continue beating outside of the body, it adds. However, without the assistance of a ventilator providing a continuous flow of oxygen and blood, this beating would stop very quickly, usually in less than an hour, it notes.
Not Brain Dead: Patient Trapped In Vegetative State By Unethical Doctors
08 October 2019
A man was kept in a vegetative state to save a hospital’s reputation. What does that mean?
A New Jersey hospital kept a patient alive in a vegetative state for nearly a year not because the patient or his family requested it, but because the medical staff wanted to maintain the survival rate statistics used to evaluate their heart-transplant program, according to an investigative report by ProPublica.
As Caroline Chen reported, in recordings of his meetings with medical staff, the director of the hospital’s heart and lung transplant programs said, “I’m not sure that this is ethical, moral or right,” but it’s “for the global good of the future transplant recipients.”
What ProPublica uncovered was an incredible breach of medical ethics and not just because his family was deprived of the opportunity to decide what was the best care option for him. To fully appreciate why, you only need to understand what being in a “vegetative state” really means. A vegetative state differs both from a coma and brain death. Being in a persistent vegetative state for over a year means that a person is unlikely to recover, but it does not mean that a person cannot feel pain or discomfort. In this case, the hospital staff prioritized their own prerogatives over their patient’s quality of life.
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Once The Consent Forms Have Been Signed Dead Patients Receive The Best Medical Care Of Their Lives
Of course, not everyone is comfortable with the idea. To some, organ donor management reduces human beings to mere collections of organs to be stripped for parts. As journalist Dick Teresi cynically put it, once the consent forms have been signed, dead patients receive the best medical care of their lives.
These interventions are only possible because the Harvard tests promise to sort the dead and the living into neat boxes but alas, yet again death is messier than wed like to think. In a review of 611 patients diagnosed as brain dead using their criteria, scientists found brain activity in 23%. In another study, 4% had sleep-like patterns of activity for up to a week after they had died. Others have reported beating heart cadavers flinching under the surgeons knife and there have even been suggestions that they should be given an anaesthetic though this is controversial.
The exact definition of death depends on our culture and religion
To inject further controversy into the mix, some people dont even agree with the definition in principle, let alone in practice. In the United States, many Orthodox Jews, some Roman Catholics and certain ethnic minorities in total, around 20% of the population like their dead with a flat-lining heart rate and cold to the touch. Theres this group of people who quite militantly are offended when a doctor tries to pronounce death on someone that the family thinks are still alive, says Veatch.
Appendix: What Is The Soul
The debate over the metaphysics of death in the Catholic tradition necessarily involves discussions that appeal to the soul. Thus, I think that it is important that I provide an explanation of the soul for healthcare professionals not familiar with the Aristotelian philosophical tradition. Please note that this summary explanation does not and cannot include explanations for all the complexities that can arise in creation.
For Catholics, the fifteenth ecumenical council, the Council of Vienne , defined the rational or intellectual soul as the form of the human body and proposed this definition as an article of Catholic faith when it declared the following: In order that the truth of the pure faith may be known to all and the path to error barred, We define that from now on whoever presumes to assert, defend, or obstinately hold that the rational and intellectual soul is not of itself and essentially the form of the human body is to be censured as heretic . That is why it is important to understand the term, soul.
Given this background, it should be clear that the debate among Catholic philosophers and moral theologians over the legitimacy of the brain death criteria must first focus on whether the brain-dead patient is one, integrated, and continuing to develop along the particular human developmental pathway. If so, then he is not dead. If not, then he is.
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A Summary Of Tk’s Autopsy Report
At the time of his brain-only autopsy, TK’s body measured approximately 3½ feet long with an approximate weight of 155 pounds. His extremities were symmetric, but poorly developed with muscles of severely reduced mass. His head was disproportionately small for his body size, probably because he did not have a growing brain to keep expanding the skull.
When the skull was opened, the autopsy revealed a hard, nearly spherical mass of approximately four inches in diameter with an irregular surface. No definite posterior brain structures including neither the cerebellum nor the brain stem were identifiable. CT analysis revealed irregular densities and signal changes consistent with calcification throughout the interior of the mass. MRI of the same sample revealed no identifiable specific anatomic brain structures. Sectioning of the mass with a saw revealed that the specimen consisted of a hollow hard-calcified shell containing semisolid material resembling clotted blood surrounding cyst-like spaces. There were no identifiable cerebral structures within the mass. Microscopic examination revealed mineralized deposits and material that resembled blood clots that had become, as the autopsy described it, mummified. No nerve cells or nerve cell structures were recognizable under the light microscope. No signals for any neuronal specific markers were detected by immunohistochemistry.
Quick Answer: How Long Can A Brain Dead Person Live
Today, with ventilators, blood-pressure augmentation and hormones, the body of a brain-dead person could, in theory, be kept functioning for a long time, perhaps indefinitely, Greene-Chandos said.03-Jan-2014
When does a person die from brain death?
- In the United States and many other countries, a person is legally dead if he or she permanently loses all brain activity or all breathing and circulatory functions.
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The Diagnosis Of Brain Death: Six Signs And Symptoms
The brain is the master computer for all of your functions, so if it has failed, theres no wonder that almost all bodily functions will be impacted along with it. Its possible for a person to appear to still be alive when their brain is no longer functioning, but a brain-dead person is not legally considered to be alive.
That means while the patient is still breathing and their heart is beating, their brain has called it quits. This is a situation that can occur after a patient has been placed on life support, and is not the same as a coma , notes the Better Health Channel in Australia. Here are six signs of brain death
Brain Death Research Papers
s brain death really death? The human brain is arguably the most important organ inside the human body, containing a persons personality, memories, and intelligence. When the brain is considered dead, there has been some traumatic accident causing the brain stem, or some other important part of the brain to be separated or severely damaged beyond repair. The three key findings in brain death are comas, absence of brainstem reflexes, and apnea. The human brain is divided into what doctors call the
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The Vegetative State And Doctor
The Vegetative State and Euthanasia Much media attention has been directed at the very practical use of euthanasia or assisted suicide on patients who are in a vegetative state or irreversible coma. The truth is that a significant number of such cases actually recover. This essay is devoted to those types, some very young, who would have been killed if euthanasia/assisted suicide had been legalized. Let’s begin our consideration with a nine-year-old named Ryan Atencio. He
A Summary Of Tk’s Clinical History
TK’s autopsy report includes a narrative of his clinical history with medical details that will be relevant for the philosophical analysis of brain death that follows below. In brief, TK was born in 1979. When he was four years old, he contracted Haemophilus influenzae meningitis that put him into a coma. While staying in a Nebraska hospital for treatment, he experienced an increase in intracranial pressure so severe that it separated the bony plates of his skull. An EEG revealed no electrocerebral activity, but his family was opposed to his removal from life support.
For several weeks following his initial infection, TK experienced severe temperature and blood pressure fluctuations that required days of dopamine infusion to support his blood pressure. Urine output fluctuated tremendously suggesting that he had diabetes insipidus. There were also dramatic shifts in his serum sodium. After this period of crisis, however, TK’s temperature, blood pressure, urine output, and serum sodium levels became stable.
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Was It Really Brain Death
Twenty-one-year-old Zack Dunlap from Oklahoma appeared on NBC’s Today Show in 2008 to tell an incredible story of hearing a physician telling his parents that a PET scan confirmed that he was brain dead after a catastrophic brain injury. While he was being prepared for organ donation, however, he moved his arm purposely in response to stimuli. Dunlap recovered, went to a rehabilitation hospital, and ultimately went home 48 days later, very much alive.
Earlier this year, 13-year-old Trenton McKinley from Alabama and his parents hit the media circuit to talk about the miracle of Trenton awakening after being declared brain dead from a vehicle accident1 day before his organs were scheduled to be harvested.
The likely explanation for such “recoveries” from brain death, according to experts, is that these individuals were never brain dead in the first place. “Errors have been made where people declared brain dead were later found to have spontaneous movement that should not have been possible,” says Robert M. Sade, MD, professor of surgery and director of the Institute of Human Values in Health Care at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. “In virtually all those cases, brain-death determination was not done correctly. If you don’t go through the exact protocol for brain-death determination, you’re likely to have patients diagnosed as being dead by neurologic criteria who are, in fact, not brain dead.”
- Was It Really Brain Death?
The Challenges Of Defining And Diagnosing Brain Death
A new Johns Hopkins support team helps clinicians and families understand a difficult diagnosis.
A woman lies in a bed at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Aided by a ventilator, her lungs inflate, deflate, and fill again. Her heart beats and her skin is warm. But her eyes stay closed and she does not react to stimuli such as pain and light.
Is she alive or dead?
If youre unsure, or if the question makes you uncomfortable, youre not alone. The hypothetical case described here reflects a real problem: the inherent difficulties of diagnosing and accepting brain death.
The topic was the focus of a September Ethics for Lunch discussion in the Chevy Chase Bank Auditorium of The Johns Hopkins Hospital, hosted by the Berman Institute of Bioethics.
The panel was moderated by anesthesiologist and critical care specialist Robert Stevens, who says the line between life and death, once clearly perceptible in the form of a beating heart, is now sometimes harder to see because of advances in lifesaving technologies.
The modern intensive care unit can keep a person with severe brain injuries alive, he says, but may also mask evidence that the person has died. The shift from a deep coma to brain deathpermanent cessation of all brain functionmay not be immediately obvious to an untrained observer. Yet recognizing this transition from life to death is critical for families, the medical team and potential organ recipients.
Watch the Ethics for Lunch panel discussion.
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Essay About Defining Death
Defining DeathAlan D. Shewmon, the professor of pediatric neurology at UCLA Medical School believes that “until the turn of the decade, most people thought that ‘brain death’ was a settled issue it no longer is. An increasing number of experts have begun to re-examine critically and to reject various key underlying assumptions” . Determination of death has obviously become more complex, and the questions of when death is final require answers. According to most recent definitions
What If This Happens During Pregnancy
A brain injury that results in an unaware and unresponsive state can happen to anyone. When it occurs during pregnancy, it requires careful evaluation of both mother and baby.
In one documented case, a pregnant woman entered this state at 14 weeks gestation. She was given supportive care and had a caesarean delivery at 34 weeks. The baby was healthy. The mother remained in an unaware and unresponsive state for another month before she died.
In another case, a woman was about 4 weeks pregnant when she entered an unaware and unresponsive state. With care, she was able to carry the fetus for another 29 weeks.
Following premature labor, she gave birth to a healthy baby. The mother remained in the same neurological state.
A person in this neurological state can survive for decades, but most people will only survive for a few years. As a family member, you may have to make many important decisions about their care, such as:
- finding the appropriate nursing home or facility
- attending to the financial aspects of long-term care
- making life-support decisions involving ventilators, feeding tubes, and other measures used to keep a person alive
- choosing whether to sign a do not resuscitate so no lifesaving measures will be taken if the person stops breathing
These are complex decisions that should involve in-depth discussion with the doctors involved.
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