In Reply Dr Grodin is correct in his assertion that the laws of both New York1 and New Jersey2 refer to the religious beliefs of the individual rather than to those of the family. Both states, however, call upon the family or other close person to determine the individual’s beliefs when they are unknown.2,3 In the absence of an advance directive, it will thus often fall to the family to interpret and communicate the patient’s wishes.
Gostin LO. Legal and Ethical Challenges in Brain Death—Reply. JAMA. 2014;311(24):2544-2545. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.5590