Ethics for Lunch:Research in the Recently Deceased After Declaration of Brain Death

Tuesday, May 21, 2024
12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Add to iCal
Johns Hopkins Hospital, Zayed 2117
1800 Orleans Street
Baltimore, MD 21287

Lunch will be provided, RSVP to Allison Christopher if you plan to attend

Click here for CME information associated with this event


A 58-year-old man, RJ, was admitted to the ICU after collapsing at home. He was intubated by EMS and brought to the hospital, where he was found to have a large hemorrhagic stroke resulting in severe damage to his brain and brainstem. After two thorough exams, doctors in the ICU determined that RJ was dead based on neurologic criteria – absence of all brain functions including the brain stem.

RJ is not able to be an organ donor due to underlying medical conditions. However, a researcher at the hospital is conducting a study of a new medical device – a liver dialysis machine. The machine is not considered safe enough to use in a living person, so the researcher is interested in trying the machine in a deceased person over a period of several days to see how it works.

RJ’s family considers whether they should agree for RJ to remain in the ICU to be connected to the liver dialysis machine for the experiment.

Learning Goals and Objectives

  1. Describe general practices for research in the recently deceased.
  2. Understand the motivations for developing research in the recently deceased as a translational research model.
  3. Identify major ethical concerns with research in the recently deceased.