L. Noel is a staff member of the World Health Organization. The author alone is responsible for the views expressed in this article and they do not necessarily represent the decisions, policy or views of the World Health Organization.
Members of the International Guidelines for Determination of Death phase 1 participants are listed in “Appendix 2”.
This report summarizes the results of the first phase in the development of international guidelines for death determination, focusing on the biology of death and the dying process, developed by an invitational forum of international content experts and representatives of a number of professional societies.
Precise terminology was developed in order to improve clarity in death discussion and debate. Critical events in the physiological sequences leading to cessation of neurological and/or circulatory function were constructed. It was agreed that death determination is primarily clinical and recommendations for preconditions, confounding factors, minimum clinical standards and additional testing were made. A single operational definition of human death was developed: ‘the permanent loss of capacity for consciousness and all brainstem functions, as a consequence of permanent cessation of circulation or catastrophic brain injury’. In order to complete the project, in the next phase, a broader group of international stakeholders will develop clinical practice guidelines, based on comprehensive reviews and grading of the existing evidence.
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(2013) Crisis in Germany’s organ transplantation system. Lancet 381(9862):178
(2008) Organ trafficking and transplant tourism and commercialism: the Declaration of Istanbul. Lancet 372(9632):5–6
(2011) The Madrid resolution on organ donation and transplantation: national responsibility in meeting the needs of patients, guided by the WHO principles. Transplantation 91(Suppl 11):S29–31
WHO (2010) WHO guiding principles on human cell, tissue and organ transplantation (2010) 63rd WHA resolutions and decisions: WHA 63:22. Human organ and tissue transplantation. http://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA63-REC1/WHA63_REC1-en.pdf. Accessed 21 Jan 2014
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- International guideline development for the determination of death
Sam D. Shemie
Alexander M. Capron
James L. Bernat
and The International Guidelines for Determination of Death phase 1 participants, in collaboration with the World Health Organization
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg
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