We have the pleasure of inviting you to attend the VIII International Symposium on Brain Death and Disorders of Consciousness, to be held in Havana, on December 4-7, 2018. American Scholars can legally attend this meeting (read “American Citizens” section for specific information).
Although inserted into a worldwide debate, the acceptance that a human being with irreversible loss of brain functions is dead has been progressively accepted beginning as far back as the late 1950’s. Nonetheless, two contentious brain-dead cases have recently raised again new controversies about the diagnosis of brain death (BD), widely covered by the US and international press. The Jahi McMath case centers on the bioethical debate surrounding her family s rejection for accepting the BD diagnosis, and their efforts to maintain her body on mechanical ventilation. Marlise Nicole Muñoz was declared brain-dead, but, doctors kept her body on a respirator because she was 14 weeks pregnant. Contrary to the McMath case, Muñoz s husband entered a legal battle to have her removed from life support, assuring that she had previously told him that in case of BD, she would not want to be kept alive artificially. Moreover, Erick Muñoz s attorneys also argued that the fetus had suffered from oxygen deprivation and was suspected to be non-viable.
Furthermore, the Terri Schiavo, and other famous cases have raised new controversies about the diagnosis and management of the persistent vegetative, the minimally conscious state, etc. Hence, the disorders of consciousness discussions are actual and permanent subjects for debate in the media and scientific discussion in any forum.
Havana lies on the northern coast of Cuba, is the largest city and the country’s capital. Besides its tropical savanna climate, the city is also noted for its history, culture, architecture and monuments. Old Havana exhibits almost all the Western architectural styles seen in the New World, its historic center was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. Therefore, Havana will provide the most proper venue to discuss all topics related to human death, end-of-life dilemmas, and disorders of consciousness.
Calixto Machado, MD, PhD, FAAN
President of the Symposium
Instituto de Neurología y Neurocirugía
29 y D, Vedado, La Habana 10400
Phone: 537-834 5578