Perspectives

Nature Reviews Neuroscience 6, 899-909 (November 2005) | doi:10.1038/nrn1789

Science and societyDeath, unconsciousness and the brain

Steven Laureys1  About the author

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The concept of death has evolved as technology has progressed. This has forced medicine and society to redefine its ancient cardiorespiratory centred diagnosis to a neurocentric diagnosis of death. The apparent consensus about the definition of death has not yet appeased all controversy. Ethical, moral and religious concerns continue to surface and include a prevailing malaise about possible expansions of the definition of death to encompass the vegetative state or about the feared bias of formulating criteria so as to facilitate organ transplantation.

Author affiliations

  1. Steven Laureys is at the Cyclotron Research Centre and Neurology Department, Université de Liège, Sart Tilman-B30, 4000 Liège, Belgium.
    Email: steven.laureys@ulg.ac.be

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