A Case Study in Brain Death
School of Medicine / Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
The Australian National University
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.
- 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.
KeywordsIrreversible coma; brain trauma; unconsciousness; subdural hematoma; subdural hemorrhage; meninges; reticular activating system; organ donation
Topical AreasEthics, Legal issues
Educational LevelUndergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division, Clinical education
Type / MethodsInterrupted
Subject HeadingsBiology (General) | Medicine (General) | Neuroscience | Psychology |
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