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Recently, foreign media reported that a Portuguese mother miraculously gave birth to a healthy child nearly three months after her brain death.
Catarina Sequeira, a 26-year-old rower from Portugal, was declared brain dead in December last year in an induced coma due to acute asthma at home. At that time, she was 19 weeks pregnant. Doctors choose to keep her breathing after her brain death, use equipment to maintain her basic cardiopulmonary, circulatory and metabolic functions, and continue to provide adequate nutrition to the fetus.
It is reported that this is the second case of brain death in Portugal. A mother had given birth 15 weeks after her brain died.
This case has also aroused heated discussion among netizens. When people are lamenting the miracle of life, they can not help thinking whether brain death represents human death. How can a brain-dead person give birth to a baby after three months?
What does brain death mean?
Brain death refers to irreversible termination of whole brain function including brainstem function. The human respiratory center is located in the brainstem. If the brainstem is structurally damaged, the respiratory function of each other will cease. At this time, the patients life will cease. At the same time, in medicine, brain death and heart death are more scientific, and the standard is more reliable and standardized. That is to say, when the brain stops working, the person cant be saved. However, some organs of the human body can be maintained by medical means.
What are the criteria for judging brain death?
Firstly, from the international judgment standard, Harvard Medical College explained the concept of brain death in 1968 and formulated the first judgment standard of human brain death.
These include: (1) irreversible deep coma;
(2) No spontaneous breathing;
(3) Brainstem reflex disappeared;
(4) EEG activity disappeared (electrical rest). Death can be declared if the above criteria are met and repeated within 24 to 72 hours without any change in the results.
At present, the criteria in China are deep coma, spontaneous respiratory arrest and disappearance of brainstem reflex. When all three items are available at the same time, brain death can be judged.
Does brain death represent death?
Death is a natural phenomenon, but death actually refers not only to the death of the body, but also to the death of the personality. Physical death and brain death are two parts. After brain death, peoples consciousness and self-consciousness have been lost, so after brain death, we can judge a persons real death. This has basically become a world consensus. More than 100 countries, such as the United States, Germany and Daily News, have legislation on brain death, which legally recognizes that brain death represents human death.
However, there is no relevant law in China at present, and many problems arising from it are highlighted in reality, such as uncertain time of death, probate disputes and so on. Chen Jingyu, deputy president of the Peoples Hospital of Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province, has put forward legislative proposals on brain death almost every year since 2015, and he got a hopeful answer just last year. u3002
The National Peoples Congress Educational, Scientific, Cultural and Health Commission wrote in its reply document: At present, there are no technical barriers to the implementation of clinical brain death determination. It is necessary to define and express the standard of death in law. We agree with your suggestion that we should not adopt separate legislation, but adopt the standard of dual death. We should add provisions on brain death and heart death to the current law, and give the family members of the deceased a certain choice. It is suggested that the relevant parties give serious consideration to the formulation or revision of relevant laws.
For a long time, in fact, many Chinese people do not agree that brain death is equivalent to death, but in the past two years at least one third of the family members of brain death patients have donated loving organs, which also shows that brain death legislation has a certain social basis.
According to President Chen, brain death legislation has many benefits. On the one hand, it can safeguard the dignity of the deceased and enable them to enjoy the dignity of death after brain death, which is a kind of respect; on the other hand, it is also the embodiment of the progress of human civilization and a scientific concept; on the other hand, it can also ensure the effective use of medical resources and reduce the burden on patientsfamilies; and finally, it can be conducive to organ transplantation. To solve many practical problems at the legal level.
In Portugal, brain-dead patients are actually acquiesced as organ donors. The local hospital ethics committee workers said, As an organ donor, you are not only in the position of donating organs such as heart, lung or liver, but also in the position of dedicating your body for the survival of a child. The family of the patient believed that after turning over the sad page, the baby they welcomed represented hope.
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Source: Editor in charge of knowledge: Qiao Junjing_NBJ11279