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Kate-tastrophy

A Case Study in Brain Death



Author:

Rosemary Martin
School of Medicine / Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
The Australian National Univerity
rosemary.martin@anu.edu.au

Abstract:

In this interrupted case, students examine the concept of unconsciousness and develop an understanding of how clinicians diagnose death. Developed for a freshman course in human biology, the case focuses on brain death, but raises related issues, including organ donation. With some modifications, the case could be used in a neurobiology or psychology course, or in a philosophy or ethics course.

Objectives:
  • To examine the concept of unconsciousness.
  • To understand how clinicians diagnose death.
  • To explore how brain trauma in the form of hemorrhage associated with the meninges can lead to loss of consciousness.
  • To explore the legal and ethical framework in which organ donation takes place.
Keywords: Irreversible coma; brain trauma; unconsciousness; subdural hematoma; subdural hemorrhage; meninges; reticular activating system; organ donation
Topical Area: Ethics, Legal issues
Educational Level: Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division, Clinical education
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Interrupted
Language: English
Subject Headings: Biology (General)   Medicine (General)   Neuroscience   Psychology  
Date Posted: 09/29/03
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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