Brain Death and disorders of consciousness

November 15, 2016

By James L. Bernat,  Professor of Neurology and Medicine  at Darmouth University, US


A neurologist by training, he specializes in brain death. According to this concept, the death of the organism occurs when all brain function fails irreversibly, despite the fact that in some cases the patient can be maintained with artificial respiration. This concept is far from uncontroversial, and is part of a wider debate around which criteria we should use to define the death of an individual.


James Bernat provided a medical and a philosophical perspective, and will explain how this issue is addressed in the United States, both through legislation and through specific protocols. He also talked about another controversial topic - persistent vegetative states - with recent studies finding signs of brain activity in patients who have received this diagnosis prompting a reconsideration of the criteria for maintaining life support.


Event organized with ICREA (Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies)



"Brain Death"

"Disorders of Consciousness"