John La Puma, MD
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
La Puma J. Discovery and Disquiet: Research on the Brain-Dead. Ann Intern Med. ;109:606–608. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-109-8-606
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1988;109(8):606-608.
End-of-Life Care, Neurology.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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