The concept of brain death did not evolve to benefit organ transplants
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Michael Potts emphasized that the social acceptance of BD since the Harvard Report was induced by the longing to find organ for transplants. We agree that the final success of transplants was improved by refining the BD concept. Nonetheless, when in 1959 the first accounts of BD were published, organ transplant surgery was in its first steps.(1)
Potts also argued about accepting BD. Some scholars who wer...
Calixto Machado and his colleagues (1) claim that because the development of organ transplantation and brain death originally developed independently, that “the concept of brain death did not evolve to benefit organ transplantation.” This is a classic non sequitur, since it remains possible that the contemporary development of brain death criteria from the Harvard Report (2) on was influenced by the de...
Machado and colleagues rightly argue that the concept of brain death evolved independently of any social interests(1). However, they ignore the fact that its social reception has indeed depended, and continues to depend, on such interests.
The concept of brain death was canonised soon after the publication of the report of the Harvard Committee in 1968(2). The committee, on which two trans...
As Machado and colleagues point out(1), the idea that death of the brain, while the body remains alive, might be considered the death of the person did, indeed, develop in isolation from the practice of organ transplantation. But there was no attempt to define brain death and establish formal clinical testing for its diagnosis as a basis for the certification of death(2,3) until that became necessary f...