In July, the family of a San Francisco man demanded more time before donating his organs. One week before, a boy in India awoke from a vegetative state during his funeral preparations. The topic of patient brain death comes with huge ethical implications, so what should physicians do when conflicts arise? 

Cara Harth, MD and Elizabeth Wirkoski, MD are two Stony Brook Medicine physicians who will address the issue of brain death at an Aug. 6 medical ethics symposium hosted by Stony Brook Medicine. Harth and Wirkoski are both neurologists, as well as directors and faculty of Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, who see patients in a coma from a variety of causes. At the Aug. 6 event, Harth will discuss the concepts and controversies surrounding brain death; Wirkoski will discuss brain injury, prognostication, and delivering bad news. 

Both physicians are available to comment on medical ethics and brain death. Contact Kim Campo at [email protected] to schedule interviews.