“Brain death” and “circulatory death”: Need for a uniform definition of death in India

Sunil Shroff, Sumana Navin


Abstract

In India, the definition of brain death is contained only in the Transplantation of Human Organs Act (THOA) of 1994. Doctors of ICU patients who are brain dead are unsure of what to do when the relatives refuse organ donation. However, ventilating a dead patient goes against correct medical practice and also blocks a valuable ICU bed. Delinking brain death from organ donation is essential, and this requires inclusion of “brain death” in the definition of death in The Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969, so that a uniform policy can be framed in the country.

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