A Reputation Built By Success

Did Dr. Husel Improperly Declare Patients Brain Dead?

Yesterday, Leeseberg Tuttle put out a press release advising local media that it appears Dr. Husel failed to follow guidelines for determining when a patient is “brain dead”. Attorney Gerald Leeseberg stated, based on guidelines from the American Academy of Neurology for determining brain death, it appears that “virtually none … were complied with, completed and/or documented by Dr. Husel before advising family members that their loved ones were ‘brain dead.'”

You can check out the American Academy of Neurology Guidelines here: American Academy of Neurology Guidelines for Brain Death Determination.pdf

Additionally, UpToDate, an evidence-based, physician-authored clinical decision support resource for medical providers, published an overview on the diagnosis of brain death: Diagnosis of Brain Death – UpToDate.pdf

Leeseberg Tuttle is still in the process of evaluating all of its clients’ cases to determine whether these guidelines were followed, but have not found any situations to date where the medical records indicate they were. 

Earlier today, Mount Carmel spoke to the media and indicated it has a brain-death policy, which includes a number of steps that physicians must follow before declaring a patient legally brain-dead, including a series of examinations, electroencephalography tests (EEGs) and cerebral-flow studies that include various radiology imaging tests. These “steps” are consistent with the guidelines set forth above and, based on Leeseberg Tuttle‘s investigation to date, appear to not have been followed.