J Pediatr Intensive Care 2017; 06(04): 248-250
DOI: 10.1055/s-0037-1604016
Review Article
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Disputes in the Declaration of Brain Death: A Case Illustration

Eleanor Peterson
1   Division of Pediatric Critical Care, Department of Pediatrics, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, Kentucky, United States
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

08 May 2017

28 May 2017

Publication Date:
27 June 2017 (online)


Death by neurologic criteria is a legal definition upheld in all 50 states in the United States. Confusion among the public may cause the declaration of death to be disputed and the removal of physiologic support delayed. In this report, a case is described of an infant who died from traumatic brain injury, but whose removal from respiratory and cardiovascular support was delayed due to a legal injunction brought forth from his family against the hospital. In addition, ethical issues faced by the health care team are discussed surrounding continuing medical therapies for a patient after the declaration of death.