Date of Graduation

Spring 2018

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



Research Sponsor

Kevin Patrick Kaut

First Reader

Christopher Buford

Second Reader

Qin Liu


Brain death is a highly debated and controversial topic spanning across several bodies of knowledge. Controversies of brain death include, but are not limited to, lack of consensus, false-positive diagnoses, residual function, public perception, and rights. Though brain death is often sensationalized by the media, distrust by the general population is warranted. The lack of consensus amongst professionals regarding brain death suggest that the American Academy of Neurology’s criterion must be revised. At the minimum, revising of the AAN criterion should focus on evolving ancillary testing, and establishing a minimum observation time before declaring death. Upon further clarification of discrepancies, trust will be restored in the medical community regarding end of life decisions.