New York - NY Times In-Depth Report On Organ Donation: When Does Death Start?
To diagnose brain death, doctors typically go through a checklist of about a dozen items, including assessing reflexes like blinking, coughing and breathing, which are all controlled by the brainstem. The criteria are extremely strict, and only a tiny fraction of severely brain-injured people meet them.
D.C.D. requires doctors to confront the shadowy question of exactly when somebody dies after the heart stops. To authorize D.C.D., doctors must follow a strict procedure.
The reporter is Darshak Sanghavi, the chief of pediatric cardiology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
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