THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a bid to put an end to the disgusting practice of putting patients with irreversible brain damage on life-support system, the state government is planning to introduce the concept of brain death certification. It is learnt the said certification will be made mandatory in the aforementioned case and it will also become valid in cases related to organ donation and implementation of passive euthanasia and living will.
“It has often been noted persons who suffer from irreversible brain injury were kept on life support systems for long periods, thereby denying their right to die with dignity,” said an officer with the Health Department.
According to the officer, as it is the absence of a guideline/parameter on brain death certification that is denying a brain-dead patient’s right to die with dignity, a five-member committee- comprising State Attorney K V Sohan, SCTIMST’s Neurology HoD Dr Muraleedharan Nair, SCTIMST’s Neuro Surgery HoD Dr Mathew Abraham, Thiruvananthapuram Medical College’s Neurology HoD Dr Thomas Iype and neurosurgeon Dr Satheesh Chandra - has been appointed to work out the same.
“The committee has been asked to develop the parameters to identify the stage at which brain death certification is to be made mandatory and it is expected the said report could be submitted within one month,” Health Secretary Rajeev Sadanandan told Express.
He also said brain death certification could put an end to allegations involved with organ donations.
“The said concept is in practice in all developed health systems in the world. The biggest takeaway is once a patient is certified as brain dead a doctor can disconnect the life-support system even without the consent of the family,” said Rajeev. It has been found in February 2012, the Health Department had come out with a procedure for declaration of brain death for organ transplantation.