Legal Aspects of Brain Death and Organ Donorship



There are inevitable tensions between the rights and interests of brain-dead organ donors, their families, and the public’s need for organs. Consequently, lawmaking in the arena of brain death and organ donation is controversial, because lawmakers must balance these competing interests to the satisfaction of all involved. This chapter examines different approaches that legal systems have taken worldwide in balancing these interests. Specifically, we examine the evolution of the legal definitions of brain death followed by a discussion of express consent models for organ donorship, contrasting those with presumed consent models. We also examine unique consent approaches that are not readily classifiable. Understanding the different approaches taken to codifying brain death into law and the different approaches taken to ­capture donors’ and their families’ consent to donate will help inform the reader as to how lawmakers worldwide have sought ever more efficient ways to increase organ donation.


Organ Donation Brain Death Presume Consent Consent Model Brain Death Determination 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Oklahoma School of Community MedicineTulsaUSA

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