Brain death in pregnancy: What will be left of the life of foetus?

Matteo Gulino, Gianluca Montanari Vergallo, Rosagemma Ciliberti, Antonio Gioacchino Spagnolo

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


Brain death in pregnancy (BDinP) has been described in literature as a "rare event" and "hopeless condition for patients", who has a devastating potential to negatively affect the poetry of the moment of welcoming a new human life to the world. Clinical consequences of BDinP are extremely dangerous for the life of a foetus that, without prompt medical actions, is doomed to suffer the same fate as the mother. Modern medical techniques make it possible to maintain basic vital functions of the pregnant woman for months, in order to achieve a level of development of the foetus. Although maternal somatic support requires the consideration of specific medical parameters, from a bioethical standpoint, this option gives rise to multiple ethical and social implications. In this manuscript, we identify the main ethical and social implications about maternal somatic support, including the potential impact on the clinical practice of medical staff, and discuss some Italian high-impact media cases.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)281-291
Numero di pagine11
RivistaMedicina e Morale
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2020


  • Brain death
  • Foetus
  • Informed consent
  • Maternal somatic support
  • Organs retrieval
  • Self-determination


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