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Article
November 24, 1989

'Brain Death' and Organ Retrieval

JAMA. 1989;262(20):2835-2836. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430200079023
Abstract

To the Editor.—  We read with great interest the article "'Brain Death' and Organ Retrieval" by Youngner et al.1 As were the authors, we were reassured by the observation that physicians in decision-making roles were much more informed about the issues associated with the diagnosis of brain death than were other health care professionals. This article, in addition, demonstrates the general lack of understanding of the critical issues involved with brain death. We agree that there is persistent confusion concerning the issue of "death vs brain death." Not only is this confusion prevalent among health care provider "nondecision makers," but it is prevalent as well in the general population. We believe this general lack of understanding is the major source of the frequently unsuccessful bids for organ procurement, not the shortcomings of neurosurgeons and other "decision makers," as suggested by Youngner et al.At our institution we evaluate and

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