A state of prolonged irreversible cessation of all brain activity, including lower brain stem function with the complete absence of voluntary movements, responses to stimuli, brain stem reflexes, and spontaneous respirations. Reversible conditions which mimic this clinical state (e.g., sedative overdose, hypothermia, etc.) are excluded prior to making the determination of brain death. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp348-9)
Tissue and Organ Procurement
The administrative procedures involved with acquiring TISSUES or organs for TRANSPLANTATION through various programs, systems, or organizations. These procedures include obtaining consent from TISSUE DONORS and arranging for transportation of donated tissues and organs, after TISSUE HARVESTING, to HOSPITALS for processing and transplantation.
Cause of Death
Acute and chronic (see also BRAIN INJURIES, CHRONIC) injuries to the brain, including the cerebral hemispheres, CEREBELLUM, and BRAIN STEM. Clinical manifestations depend on the nature of injury. Diffuse trauma to the brain is frequently associated with DIFFUSE AXONAL INJURY or COMA, POST-TRAUMATIC. Localized injuries may be associated with NEUROBEHAVIORAL MANIFESTATIONS; HEMIPARESIS, or other focal neurologic deficits.
Tissue and Organ Harvesting
The state or condition of being a human individual accorded moral and/or legal rights. Criteria to be used to determine this status are subject to debate, and range from the requirement of simply being a human organism to such requirements as that the individual be self-aware and capable of rational thought and moral agency.
Persistent Vegetative State
Vegetative state refers to the neurocognitive status of individuals with severe brain damage, in whom physiologic functions (sleep-wake cycles, autonomic control, and breathing) persist, but awareness (including all cognitive function and emotion) is abolished.
Neoplasms of the intracranial components of the central nervous system, including the cerebral hemispheres, basal ganglia, hypothalamus, thalamus, brain stem, and cerebellum. Brain neoplasms are subdivided into primary (originating from brain tissue) and secondary (i.e., metastatic) forms. Primary neoplasms are subdivided into benign and malignant forms. In general, brain tumors may also be classified by age of onset, histologic type, or presenting location in the brain.
The state that distinguishes organisms from inorganic matter, manifested by growth, metabolism, reproduction, and adaptation. It includes the course of existence, the sum of experiences, the mode of existing, or the fact of being. Over the centuries inquiries into the nature of life have crossed the boundaries from philosophy to biology, forensic medicine, anthropology, etc., in creative as well as scientific literature. (Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed; Dr. James H. Cassedy, NLM History of Medicine Division)
The part of the brain that connects the CEREBRAL HEMISPHERES with the SPINAL CORD. It consists of the MESENCEPHALON; PONS; and MEDULLA OBLONGATA.
Attitude to Death
Conceptual response of the person to the various aspects of death, which are based on individual psychosocial and cultural experience.
The part of CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM that is contained within the skull (CRANIUM). Arising from the NEURAL TUBE, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including PROSENCEPHALON (the forebrain); MESENCEPHALON (the midbrain); and RHOMBENCEPHALON (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of CEREBRUM; CEREBELLUM; and other structures in the BRAIN STEM.
Life Support Care
Care provided patients requiring extraordinary therapeutic measures in order to sustain and prolong life.
Elicitation of a rotatory nystagmus by stimulating the semicircular canals with water or air which is above or below body temperature. In warm caloric stimulation a rotatory nystagmus is developed toward the side of the stimulated ear; in cold, away from the stimulated side. Absence of nystagmus indicates the labyrinth is not functioning.
Beginning of Human Life
The point at which religious ensoulment or PERSONHOOD is considered to begin.
Withholding or withdrawal of a particular treatment or treatments, often (but not necessarily) life-prolonging treatment, from a patient or from a research subject as part of a research protocol. The concept is differentiated from REFUSAL TO TREAT, where the emphasis is on the health professional's or health facility's refusal to treat a patient or group of patients when the patient or the patient's representative requests treatment. Withholding of life-prolonging treatment is usually indexed only with EUTHANASIA, PASSIVE, unless the distinction between withholding and withdrawing treatment, or the issue of withholding palliative rather than curative treatment, is discussed.
Delayed Graft Function
Increased intracellular or extracellular fluid in brain tissue. Cytotoxic brain edema (swelling due to increased intracellular fluid) is indicative of a disturbance in cell metabolism, and is commonly associated with hypoxic or ischemic injuries (see HYPOXIA, BRAIN). An increase in extracellular fluid may be caused by increased brain capillary permeability (vasogenic edema), an osmotic gradient, local blockages in interstitial fluid pathways, or by obstruction of CSF flow (e.g., obstructive HYDROCEPHALUS). (From Childs Nerv Syst 1992 Sep; 8(6):301-6)