Academic journal article Issues in Law & Medicine

Calixto Machado et Al., the Concept of Brain Death Did Not Evolve to Benefit Organ Transplantation

Academic journal article Issues in Law & Medicine

Calixto Machado et Al., the Concept of Brain Death Did Not Evolve to Benefit Organ Transplantation

Article excerpt

Calixto Machado et al., The Concept of Brain Death Did Not Evolve to Benefit Organ Transplantation, 33 J. MED. ETHICS 197 (2007).

Although it is commonly believed that the concept of brain death (BD) was developed to benefit organ transplants, it evolved independently. Transplantation owed its development to advances in surgery and immunosuppressive treatment; BD owed its origin to the development of intensive care. The first autotransplant was achieved in the early 1900s, when studies of increased intracranial pressure causing respiratory arrest with preserved heartbeat were reported. Between 1902 and 1950, the BD concept was supported by the discovery of EEG, Crile's definition of death, the use of EEG to demonstrate abolition of brain potentials after ischaemia, and Crafoord's statement that death was due to cessation of blood flow. Transplantation saw the first xenotransplant in humans and the first unsuccessful kidney transplant from a cadaver. In the 1950s, circulatory arrest in coma was identified by angiography, and the death of the nervous system and coma depasse were described. Murray performed the first successful kidney transplant. …

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