brain death, cerebral death
The term brain death refers to the no longer existing and irreversible activity of vital brain areas ( cerebrum, cerebellum, brainstem ) in a cardiovascular function which is still maintained by artificial respiration (Scientific Advisory Council of the German Medical Association, 1997). Brain death means the death of man in a scientific and medical sense.
Frontal lobe = red (frontal lobe, frontal lobe)
Parietal lobe = blue (parietal lobe, parietal lobe)
Occipital lobes = green (occipital lobe, occipital lobe)
Temporal lobe = yellow (temporal lobe, temporal lobe).
To determine the irreversibility of the brain activity, certain medical examinations as well as apparatus procedures and certain observation times are required. The scientific advisory board of the German Medical Association (1997) issues the following guidelines for the diagnosis of brain death:
The brain death must be determined by two physicians, one of whom must have several years of experience in intensive care with patients with severe brain damage.
Independently of each other, brain death is recorded by the two doctors using a standardized protocol.
Contrary to the assumption that the time of death is the time of death, it actually means the time of the completion of the diagnosis and documentation of brain death.
None of the two doctors diagnosing brain death may subsequently participate in an organ transplant.
Only after detection of the brain death (guidelines of the German Medical Association 1997, see above) may in the context of §3 of the Transplantation Act, the removal of tissue or organs are made, unless the deceased person or relatives have objected to the organ / tissue removal.
Especially after the Erlanger case of Marion P. criticism was made on the brain death definition. Marion P. was admitted to Erlangen University Hospital on 5 October 1992 with severe craniocerebral injuries. Three days later, the patient was diagnosed with brain death. Since the patient was pregnant, the further intensive care treatment was decided until childbirth. After five weeks, however, there was a fever episode of the brain-dead patient and then a miscarriage. Due to this case, there is a particular criticism of the definition of brain death, since an already dead female patient can neither develop a fever nor have a miscarriage. This means that despite the lack of brain activity, various other systems (spinal cord, organs) can still be active.
Several other scientists also have critical opinions on brain death definition.