Ethical issues in critical care and cardiac arrest: Clinical research, brain death, and organ donation

Luke A. Donatelli, Romergryko G. Geocadin, Michael A. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Cardiac arrest results in global hypoxic-ischemic brain injury from which there is a range of possible neurological outcomes. In most cases, patients may require a surrogate to make decisions regarding end-of-life care, including the withdrawal of life-sustaining therapies. This article reviews ethical considerations that arise in the clinical care of patients following cardiac arrest, including decisions to continue or withdraw life-sustaining therapies; brain death determination; and organ donation in the context of brain death and cardiac death (so-called non-heart-beating donation). This article also discusses ethical concerns pertaining to the design and conduct of resuscitation research that is necessary for the development of effective therapies to prevent anoxic brain injury or promote neurological recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)452-459
Number of pages8
JournalSeminars in Neurology
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2006

Keywords

  • Brain death
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Clinical research
  • Informed consent
  • Organ donation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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