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Brain death explained

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There have been several stories in the news recently about hospitalized patients being pronounced brain dead. Some of those stories (and the comments on them) were confusing - and even misleading - the public about what brain death means.

This Detroit Free Press article, in the context of one of those recent situations, does a good job of explaining brain death and the tests that are completed to diagnose it.

We feel it is important to know that brain death exists independently of organ donation. No one is pronounced brain dead in order to facilitate organ donation. Medical teams involved in organ donation and transplant are not involved in pronouncing brain death. If organ donation did not exist, brain death still would.

We’d like to extend our deepest sympathies to the Reyes family, whose son Bobby is mentioned in this article.