News of the WeekBiomedical Ethics

Study of Brain Dead Sparks Debate

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Science  15 Feb 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5558, pp. 1210-1211
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5558.1210

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In the February issue of Nature Medicine, researchers report infusing millions of peptides into brain-dead and near-death patients to determine which ones end up in specific tissues. The work has yielded a wealth of data that could not have been obtained otherwise. Although controversial, some ethicists believe that with stringent informed consent procedures, such studies are ethically sound.