Rabu, 29 Juli 2015

International Symposium on Brain Death & Disorders of Consciousness

The Seventh International Symposium on Brain Death and Disorders of Consciousness will be held this December in Havana, Cuba.


You can participate in the Symposium as a delegate, although the conference organizers encourage you to submit an abstract.  Deadline for submission of abstracts: September 15, 2015.  Notification of Accepted Abstracts: October 15, 2015.


  • Conceptual approach to human death.

  • BD criteria in different countries.

  • Ancillary tests in BD.

  • Autonomic nervous system assessment in BD.

  • BD in childhood.

  • Anencephalic infants.

  • End-of-life dilemmas: terminal patient, euthanasia, assisted suicide, etc.

  • Legal considerations surrounding BD and related states.

  • Philosophical, theological, sociological, historical and cultural considerations of human death.

  • Organ transplantation.


  • Pathophysiological mechanisms of consciousness generation.

  • Coma, persistent vegetative state (PVS), minimally conscious state (MCS), and other DOC.

  • Clinical diagnosis of DOC.

  • Neuroimaging techniques for assessing DOC.

  • Neurophysiologic tests for assessing DOC.

  • Autonomic nervous system assessment of DOC.

  • Neurorehabilitation of DOC.

  • Neuroprotection and Neuromonitoring of DOC.

  • New trends in cardio-pulmonar-cerebral resuscitation.


After the announcement of the re-establishment of USA and Cuba diplomatic relationships, US citizens DO NOT require requesting special permissions to attend a meeting in Cuba, because they can attend any conference in Cuba that relates to the traveler’s profession, professional background, or area of expertise, including graduate-level full-time study.


Although inserted into a worldwide debate, the acceptance that a human being with irreversible loss of brain functions is dead has been progressively accepted beginning as far back as the late 1950’s. Nonetheless, two contentious brain-dead cases have recently raised again new controversies about the diagnosis of brain death (BD), widely covered by the US and international press. 

The Jahi McMath case centers on the bioethical debate surrounding her family s rejection for accepting the BD diagnosis, and their efforts to maintain her body on mechanical ventilation. 

Marlise Nicole Muñoz was declared brain-dead, but, doctors kept her body on a respirator  because she was 14 weeks pregnant. Contrary to the McMath case, Muñoz s husband entered a legal battle to have her removed from life support, assuring that she had previously told him that in case of BD, she would not want to be kept alive artificially.  Moreover, Erick Muñoz s attorneys also argued that the fetus had suffered from oxygen deprivation and was suspected to be non-viable.

Furthermore, the Terri Schiavo, and other famous cases have raised new controversies about the diagnosis and management of the persistent vegetative, the minimally conscious state, etc. Hence, the disorders of consciousness discussions are actual and permanent subjects for debate in the media and scientific discussion in any forum.

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