Dr. David Greer, assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, directed a national survey of the leading neurology and neurosurgery programs to analyze policies for making brain death declarations. Though American medical institutions are not required to follow parameters for determining brain death, as published by the American Academy of Neurology, Dr. Greer’s report shows significant variation in the guidelines at surveyed institutions.
Why is significant variability within brain death protocol permitted from hospital to hospital? Have there been any medical legal precedents attributed to the inconsistency of these guidelines? What would be the most appropriate approach to addressing these concerns? Dr. Greer shares his thoughts, in the context of his research, with host Dr. Mark Nolan Hill.