One is the use of cardiorespiratory criteria and the other is the use of neurological criteria (Beecher 1968).Laws incorporating this second way of determining death were adopted over time in many developed nations, though cultural acceptance and understanding of brain death often has not tracked the law (Wijdicks 2002; Du Bois and Anderson 2006).At the same time, there was a growing desire to make organs available for transplantation and to avoid ischemic damage to those organs.
If you are 18 or older you can show you want to be a donor by signing a donor card. Health Resources and Services Administration Medline Plus links to health information from the National Institutes of Health and other federal government agencies.
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As the number of people seeking transplants has grown and the number of people donating organs after death has leveled off, efforts have been made to secure organs from other types of donors, namely, living donors and individuals who are declared dead using cardiorespiratory criteria (donation after cardiac or circulatory death or DCD) rather than neurological criteria.
Another way to increase the population of donors has been to expand the criteria for donor eligibility.
Much less common have been efforts to successfully transplant animal organs into humans.
Bioengineered organs might change transplantation in the future.See our disclaimer about external links and our quality guidelines.Organ transplantation can extend life and improve the quality of life of patients.If those patients already were dead before treatment is stopped, then it would be appropriate to stop mechanical interventions and other support.The patients would not die because treatment was withheld.Successful liver and heart transplants followed in the 1960s.Immune response remained a signiﬁcant barrier to successful transplantation until the mid-1970s with the development of cyclosporin which, together with surgical advances, led to signiﬁcant success in transplantation of the kidney, heart, liver, lung, bowel, and pancreas between the mid-1970s and throughout the 1980s.The dead donor rule refers to the requirement that, with the exception of living donors, organ donors must be dead before their organs are removed.Organ donation may not be the cause of death, for example, removing a heart from a person who is nearly dead and expected to die soon would be the cause of death and is not permitted.Organ removal would not be the cause of death since they already were dead, and the organs would be better protected from ischemic damage.In 1968, Henry Beecher assembled the Ad Hoc Committee of the Harvard Medical School to Examine the Deﬁnition of Brain Death, which aimed to establish a new criterion for death – irreversible coma.