Press Release: Don’t Risk Lives by Changing the Definition of Death

The Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network is part of the Health Care Civil Rights Task Force, a collaboration of national organizations committed to protecting the sanctity of human life in medical decision-making.

Washington, Aug. 16, 2023 / Christian Newswire / — The Health Care Civil Rights Task Force strongly condemns proposed changes to the Uniform Determination of Death Act (UDDA) that would allow for subjective determinations of death. The Uniform Law Commission, a non-profit group of lawyers that creates model legislation to bring uniformity to state laws, week recently to discuss changing how death is determined.

The revised UDDA would apply to both brain death and circulatory/respiratory death. Currently, a declaration of death requires the irreversible cessation of either all circulatory and respiratory functions or all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem.

The proposed language would replace “irreversible” with “permanent.” This is a critical difference. An irreversible loss of function means there is no possibility of recovery. A permanent loss of function, on the other hand, means only that recovery did not happen while the person was alive. CONTINUE