Abstract
McGovern, Kevin In December 2008, the US President's Council on Bioethics issued a White Paper titled 'Controversies in the Determination of Death.'1 Responding to contemporary critiques of the concept of brain death, the Council upholds the validity of this neurological standard for determining death. Significantly, it also proposes replacing the existing explanation of this standard with a new, very different rationale. As well, it argues that 'total brain failure' is a better name for this condition than 'brain death.' This article summarises and then comments on this important statement
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