Developing a Brain-based Definition of Death and Evidence based Criteria for its Determination after Arrest of Circulation or Neurologic Function in Canada

This project is an ODTC project. See project snapshot 

Developing a Brain-based Definition of Death and Evidence-based Criteria for its Determination after Arrest of Circulation or Neurologic Function in Canada

Project background

When proceeding with deceased organ donation, a clear definition and determination of death are of critical importance. The concepts currently in practice have created the idea of two distinct forms of death – brain death and cardiac death.

However, cardiac death is indeed brain death. That is, arrest of circulation leads to absent brain blood flow, which in turn leads to the rapid loss of brain function.

There is a need to review and update Canadian clinical practice guidelines, including the definition of death, to align practices with current scientific evidence and address evolving legal and ethical considerations.

Objectives

The objective of this project is to develop a clinical practice guideline that includes a brain-based definition of death as well as evidence-based and expert-informed criteria for death determination after arrest of circulation or neurologic function

Project Outputs and Publications

 


The Organ Donation and Transplantation Collaborative is an initiative led by Health Canada with provinces and territories (except Québec), Canadian Blood Services, patients, families, clinicians and researchers. Funded by Health Canada, the project Developing a Brain-based Definition of Death and Evidence-based Criteria for its Determination after Arrest of Circulation or Neurologic Function in Canada contributes to the Collaborative’s vision to achieve organ donation and transplantation system improvements that result in better patient outcomes and an increase in the number and quality of successful transplantations. For more information, please consult the Organ Donation and Transplantation Collaborative (the Collaborative) website: https://tinyurl.com/ODTCollaborative.


Brain-based definition of death: Animated Video


World Brain Death Project: Implications for Canadian Practice


Brain blood flow in the neurological determination of death (2008)


Severe brain injury to neurological determination of death (NDD) - (2006)