Last updated on: 7/23/2013 | Author:

1968 – Harvard Medical School Committee Defines Irreversible Coma as a Criterion for Death

The Ad Hoc Committee of the Harvard Medical School to Examine the Definition of Brain Death publishes its report in the Journal of the American Medical Association in August 1968. The committee defines “irreversible coma” as a new criterion for death. According to the committee, a new definition of death was needed because of the great burden that trying to revive irreversibly comatose patients puts on the patients themselves, their families, hospitals and the community.