Brain Death Really Is Death

I think many people would agree here. Sure people may think those in a vegetative state are alive but they’re not, not really. Besides, people have living wills on covering what should be done if they’re in such situations.


Concepts matter in medicine. This could not be more obvious than in the utter confusion on display over the concepts of ‘brain death’ and ‘life support technology’ that has resulted in two dead bodies being kept on ventilator support in California and Texas.

In Oakland, California 13-year old Jahi McMath has been maintained on machines since an elective procedure to treat her sleep apnea went horribly wrong on December 9th. She has been in the ICU on a ventilator at the Oakland Children’s Hospital since then.

(MORE: Teen Girl Brain Dead After Tonsil Removal Goes Wrong)

In Forth Worth, Texas, Marlese Munoz has been on machine support in the ICU at John Peter Smith Hospital since, without any warning last November 26th, she suffered a pulmonary embolism. She was then 14 weeks pregnant.

In both cases Jahi and Marlese have been declared brain dead. In both…

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One response to “Brain Death Really Is Death

  1. So very important to discuss end of life care and to have a living will. The author is right, the terms are very confusing to grieving families and the public and need to be clarified. So many misunderstandings about hospice care as well.

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