Strategies to improve uniformity in brain death determination

In April 2018, Harvard Medical School sponsored a program commemorating the 50th anniversary of that institution’s landmark report in JAMA, which was highly influential in establishing brain death as a medical standard for determining human death.1 Authorities presented papers summarizing the areas of consensus over the past 50 years and the remaining controversies. Given this recent status report on the consensus on best practices to determine brain death, and the generally uniform laws governing it in the United States, it is therefore ironic to learn that many physicians continue to conduct its determination incorrectly and with a high degree of variability.

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