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Very interesting but at this point irrelevent to the discussion of brain death

Posted by nstadlan on 30 Sep 2013 at 15:38 GMT

This article shows that electrical activity can be found when functioning live neurons are anesthetized by high levels of thiopental or isofluorane. It does not address whether this activity can be found when neurons are damaged beyond function as they are in patients who are brain dead. Until further studies are done, this finding is irrelevent to the discusison of brain death and the determination of brain death. Those who make the claim are equating live functioning though anesthetized neurons to horribly damaged neurons. In addition, a flat EEG is not required for the determination of death.

In patients who are determined dead by 'conventional' cardiopulmonary criteria, live neurons can be cultured for at least 8 hours after the determination of death. Therefore, some neuronal electrical function is obviously acceptable even after a cardiopulmonary determination of death.
The above discussion does not take away anything from the very interesting discovery in the article, and I look forward to more results.

No competing interests declared.