Brain death and the vegetative state

P.J. Hutchinson and J.D. Pickard

in Oxford Textbook of Medicine

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780199204854
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199570973 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbooks

Brain death and the vegetative state

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Death can be defined as the irreversible loss of the capacity for consciousness and brain stem function, combined with irreversible loss of the capacity to breathe. The irreversible cessation of brainstem function, whether caused by a primary intracranial catastrophe (e.g. trauma, haemorrhage) or the result of extracranial cranial events (e.g hypoxia), will result in the same clinical state, hence brain stem death is the same as death of the patient....

Chapter.  2734 words. 

Subjects: Neurology

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