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October 1, 2008

Request for Complementary Medicine After Brain Death—Reply

JAMA. 2008;300(13):1517-1518. doi:10.1001/jama.300.13.1517-c

In Reply: Dr Kompanje defends a reasonable view but confuses the decisions made in the case with the argument presented in the Grand Rounds and the article, which offers a strong critique of those decisions. The discussion in the article argues that physicians and ethicists erred in keeping a young woman declared dead on a ventilator and erred in administering a Chinese remedy to a dead body. Kompanje is correct, however, to raise the question of organ donation. In the actual case, the family did consider but in the end declined to donate—a point that was not raised in the Grand Rounds.