Brain Death: What Catholics Need to Know

11-14-2021Recommended ResourcesNational Catholic Register

In 1968 an influential Harvard Medical School committee introduced brain death with the oxymoronic definition “irreversible coma as a new criterion for death,” disregarding the fact that to be in a coma is not to be dead but alive. Declaring a person dead by brain death criteria is the primary means by which organs are obtained for transplantation.

The validity of brain death criteria is disputed among those who uphold the belief in the inherent dignity of every human being. Some, including myself, are convinced that brain death does not represent the death of the human person.