- The Kerala government has decided to make certification of brain death at intensive care units in all medical facilities in the State mandatory.
- Under the new rules, once brain death is diagnosed as per the existing legal and clinical requirements and the certification process is completed, ICU care will be continued only if organs are to be retrieved for possible donation. Brain dead persons are kept on ventilators (artificial support) to ensure all organs remain oxygenated and healthy until they are harvested.
- However, if organ donation is not a possibility, then all care will be stopped. This would ensure that valuable ICU resources are not wasted and may be utilised for a person who can be saved.
- In India, the definition of brain death is contained only in the Transplantation of Human Organs Act (THOA) of 1994. However, the act does not specify whether ventilation and ICU care may be withdrawn if a patient is brain-dead but relatives refuse organ donation.
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