Professor Orentlicher Column on End-of-Life Decisions Advocates Tolerance and Trust


Professor David OrentlicherEnd-of-life decisions are far from simple, and Professor David Orentlicher examines the issue in his column published January 17 in The Indianapolis Star. While most states have determined that patients who have no brain function meet the legal definition of death, some states, like New Jersey, allow people whose religious beliefs dictate that death happens only with a loss of cardiac function to make health care decisions based on those beliefs.

Professor Orentlicher believes New Jersey’s approach is exemplary, and believes that in cases where there is brain death but the heart continues to function, that state law should be flexible enough to allow for both viewpoints.

Professor Orentlicher is co-director of the Hall Center for Law and Health and a Samuel R. Rosen Professor of Law. He served in the Indiana House of Representatives from 2002 to 2008.

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