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Is brain dead really dead - Research Paper Example

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Irreversible cessation of brain functions has been used as the clinical basis for certifying death. The process of determining brain…
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Is brain dead really dead
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Is brain dead really dead

Advances in medical knowledge and practice have made it possible for respiratory and cardiovascular functions to be taken over by sophisticated machines and advanced therapies. The significance of recognizing brain death is based on the costs of maintaining patients on life support, intellectual progression and utilitarian purposes. Despite the importance of recognizing brain death, concerns have been raised over challenges to determining brain death. The first challenge is that brain death is not death while the second challenge is that brain death is death but the clinical criteria used to recognize it are unreliable. This essay will discuss the importance of recognizing brain death, in addition to discussing the challenges to brain death.
Brain death is a clinical manifestation characterized by irreversible cessation of all the functions of the human brain, including the brain stem (Machado, 2007). Even though the concept of brain death has commonly been applied to organ donation and transplantation, brain death has become a contested issue in general medical practice. Strict guidelines have been developed to certify brain death and only specialist medical practitioners are allowed to make the determination. Recognition of brain death is crucial in medical practice given the medical, bioethical and legal contestations associated with brain death. Much as brain death is considered to be effective in making definite recognition of death, the legal, ethical and human aspects associated with death make brain death a very complex clinical issue.
The permanent cessation of the respiratory and cardiovascular functions was traditionally used as the basis upon which death was recognized. Regardless of a patient’s situation, this criterion was widely accepted as the standard for recognizing death (Wijdicks, 2013). Conversely, advancements in medical technology and knowledge have ... Read More
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