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Defining death in non-heart beating organ donors
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  • Published on:
    Response to C. Levyman
    • Nereo Zamperetti, Intensivist
    • Other Contributors:
      • Rinaldo Bellomo and Claudio Ronco

    Dear Editor

    the concept of brain death (BD) refers to two different but strictly related conditions: the death of the brain ("the irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem"[1]) and the patient's death certified by neurological criteria.

    In his letter, C. Levyman strongly supports both aspects of the concept. Actually, even if nobody challenges the fact the BD i...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    The return to the heart definition of death

    Dear Editor

    Since the 50s,with the work of Guillan and Mollaret, there has been a preoccupation with the point of no return in brain activity; these French authors choose the expression “coma depassé”. After the first and ethical heart transplantation in South Africa, performed by the Barnard brothers, the medical world was suddenly thrown into a debate about the definition of death. The Harvard ad hoc Committee was...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.

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