Determination of Death by Neurologic Criteria in the United States: The Case for Revising the Uniform Determination of Death Act

The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 47 S4 (2019): 9-24.

16 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2020

See all articles by Richard J. Bonnie

Richard J. Bonnie

University of Virginia School of Law

Ariane Lewis

New York University (NYU) - School of Medicine

Thaddeus Mason Pope

Mitchell Hamline School of Law; Queensland University of Technology - Australian Health Law Research Center; Saint Georges University; Alden March Bioethics Institute

Leon Epstein

Lurie Childrens

David Greer

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Matthew Kirschen

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Michael Rubin

affiliation not provided to SSRN

James Russell

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: January 19, 2019

Abstract

Although death by neurologic criteria (brain death) is legally recognized throughout the United States, state laws and clinical practice vary concerning three key issues: (1) the medical standards used to determine death by neurologic criteria, (2) management of family objections before determination of death by neurologic criteria, and (3) management of religious objections to declaration of death by neurologic criteria.

The American Academy of Neurology and other medical stakeholder organizations involved in the determination of death by neurologic criteria have undertaken concerted action to address variation in clinical practice in order to ensure the integrity of brain death determination. To complement this effort, state policymakers must revise legislation on the use of neurologic criteria to declare death. We review the legal history and current laws regarding neurologic criteria to declare death and offer proposed revisions to the Uniform Determination of Death Act (UDDA) and the rationale for these recommendations.

Keywords: brain death, UDDA

JEL Classification: I18, K32

Suggested Citation

Bonnie, Richard J. and Lewis, Ariane and Pope, Thaddeus Mason and Epstein, Leon and Greer, David and Kirschen, Matthew and Rubin, Michael and Russell, James, Determination of Death by Neurologic Criteria in the United States: The Case for Revising the Uniform Determination of Death Act (January 19, 2019). The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 47 S4 (2019): 9-24. . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3532508

Richard J. Bonnie

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

Ariane Lewis

New York University (NYU) - School of Medicine ( email )

550 First Ave.
VZ30, Office 626
New York, NY 10016
United States

Thaddeus Mason Pope (Contact Author)

Mitchell Hamline School of Law ( email )

875 Summit Avenue
Room 320
Saint Paul, MN 55105
United States
651-695-7661 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.thaddeuspope.com

Queensland University of Technology - Australian Health Law Research Center ( email )

2 George Street
Brisbane, Queensland 4000
Australia

Saint Georges University ( email )

West Indies
Grenada

HOME PAGE: http://www.thaddeuspope.com

Alden March Bioethics Institute ( email )

47 New Scotland Ave
MC 153
Albany, NY 12208
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.thaddeuspope.com

David Greer

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Matthew Kirschen

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Michael Rubin

affiliation not provided to SSRN

James Russell

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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