On this page I have collected some key legal resources concerning "total brain failure," a clinical diagnosis that is legally sufficient for the determination of death by neurological criteria ("brain death").
While families regularly obtain TROs in disputes over continuing physiological support after DDNC, those are almost always only temporary stopgap measures. Courts have not held that families have a right to continued treatment.
NOTE: Materials on the Jahi Mcmath case from Oakland, California are collected on the separate "Jahi McMath" cases page.
1. Legal Standards for Brain Death, JOURNAL OF BIOETHICAL INQUIRY (2016). 2. Brain Death: Legal Duties to Accommodate Religious Objections, 148(2) CHEST e69 (2015). 3. Brain Death Rejected: Expanding Legal Duties to Accommodate Religious Objections and Continue Physiological Support, in LAW, RELIGION, AND AMERICAN HEALTH CARE (Cambridge University Press forthcoming 2016) (proceedings from 2015 Petrie-Flom Center Annual Conference at Harvard Law). 4. Review of Death before Dying: History, Medicine, and Brain Death (OUP 2014), 36 JOURNAL OF LEGAL MEDICINE (forthcoming 2015). 5. Brain Death: Legal Obligations and the Courts, 35(2) SEMINARS IN CLINICAL NEUROLOGY: THE CLINICAL PRACTICE OF BRAIN DEATH DETERMINATION 174-179 (2015) (with Christopher M. Burkle). 6. Legal Briefing: Brain Death and Total Brain Failure, 25(3) JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ETHICS 245-257 (2014). 7. Pregnant and Dead in Texas: A Bad Law, Badly Interpreted, LOS ANGELES TIMES (Jan. 16. 2014) (with Art Caplan). 8. Legal Briefing: Organ Donation, 21(3) J. CLINICAL ETHICS 243-263 (2010).