Jumat, 08 Juli 2016

Two Brain Death Cases - Consent for Apnea Test

Two recent court cases posed the question whether family consent is required for clinicians to administer an apnea test to confirm as suspected diagnosis of brain death.

One of those cases is now moot.  13-year-old Alex Pierce was transferred from the hospital in the court dispute (Loma Linda).  He was later determined dead at the Naval Medical Center San Diego.

The other case, involving 2-year-old Mirranda Grace Lawson, was proceeding to the Virginia Supreme Court.  But that is a very slow process.  So, the VCU Health System is now seeking court permission to conduct the test sooner, arguing hospital resources are limited. 

VCU Medical Center's Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, or PICU, has just 14 beds and providing care for Mirranda Lawson costs nearly $10,000 a day, the hospital says.  

"Having one of the PICU beds and all the human resources that entails, occupied by Mirranda, who has likely been dead for weeks, jeopardizes the care of critically ill children that VCU Health System is being forced to turn away."

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