John La Puma, MD
La Puma J. Discovery and Disquiet: Research on the Brain-Dead. Ann Intern Med. 1988;109:606-608. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-109-8-606
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1988;109(8):606-608.
In 1974 Willard Gaylin suggested that "neomorts would be particularly valuable for studying diseases of the blood" (1). Using brain-dead humans for experimentation, medical training, organ banking, and immunologic manufacturing was considered futuristic.
That future is now. In this issue, Coller and colleagues report using a 78-year-old brain-dead man's circulatory and hematologic systems to evaluate a monoclonal antibody's effect on platelet aggregation (2). The authors suggest several "principles" for investigators who wish to use brain-dead patients for research. These suggestions include the investigators' nonparticipation in the determination of death, an Institutional Review Board (IRB) review, and the consent of the
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Neurology, End-of-Life Care.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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