Talk:Vegetative state

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    This is an excellent and lucid review of an important subject written by one of the world's experts.

    Other than a few typos, the only error I saw was in their discussion of the "Pittsburgh Protocol" for non-heart-beating organ donation (now called organ "donation after cardiac death" or "donation after circulatory death," or "DCD.") The authors should clarify that these organ donors are hopelessly brain-damaged but not brain dead patients being maintained on positive-pressure ventilators in ICUs. They are allowed to die after their life-sustaining therapy (positive-pressure ventilation) is withdrawn in accordance with their wishes. Once their heart stops beating for a period of 2-10 minutes (that varies by protocol), they are declared dead and only then are their vital organs procured. As in brain dead organ donors, the organ procurement is performed only after the donor is declared dead. The processs, outcome, and prevailing practices of this activity are described in:

    Bernat JL, D’Alessandro AM, Port FK, et al. Report of a national conference on donation after cardiac death. American Journal of Transplantation 2006:6:281-291.

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