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SCAHRM January Webinar

January 17, 2023 at 10:00 am - 11:00 am

$20 – $35

Don’t miss SCAHRM’s first educational session of 2023!

Brain Death Revisited: Legal, Ethical and Practical Implications

With special guest speakers Mary De Los Reyes & Andy Oppenberg

Today, whether someone is dead or alive largely depends on what state they are in, what facility they are in, which provider is making the determination, and what diagnostic tests are used.  The stated definition of brain death in the Uniform Determination of Death Act (UDDA) and the actual practice of diagnosing brain death don’t match. These inconsistencies threaten public trust in physicians, their brain death diagnoses, and even brain death as a concept.  We will discuss the legal/risk management, bioethical controversies in death determination, proposed changes to the UDDA and organ procurement after death.  Ethical issues include whether patients should have the right to choose the criteria used to determine their deaths. We will explore how risk managers can help mitigation risks associated with family challenges.


  • Through a case study, identify proactive risk management & bioethics strategies when families disagree with brain death diagnoses)
  • Understand the history of federal and state determination of death laws under Uniform Determination of Death Act (UDDA) and Changes (RUDDA)
  • Apply  proactive risk management and bioethical consultation across the 8 ERM domain to  death determination cases.


About the speakers:

Mary is the Director of Enterprise Risk Management and In-House Counsel for Summit Healthcare in Show Low, AZ.  She holds RN licenses in CA and AZ and is an active member of the Bar in both states.  After 20+ years of experience as a NICU and L&D nurse, and then practicing law in a med-mal defense firm in California, she began her Risk Management career in 2004.  Mary moved to Arizona in 2016.  She has a passion for patient safety and enjoys the challenge of being the go-to medical-legal resource for Leadership and staff.  She is a past president of the SCAHRM and AZSHRM chapters of ASHRM.





Dr. Andrew Oppenberg, DPS, MPH, HEC-C,CPHRM, DFASHRM, has decades of experience in risk management/patient safety, bioethics and eight years of experience in various clinical and medical research arenas. Andy is a Professor (lecturer) in Health Sciences/ Administration at California State University, Northridge and teaches courses in Health Law, Health/ Hospital Administration, and Ethics. Andy’s consultancy firm: Asclepius Bioethics, ERM, & Pt Safety,  focuses on Enterprise Risk Management, Patient Safety, IRB Human Subjects Research, CME and Bioethics. Andy just received a Doctorate Biomedical Ethics and Public Policy from the Allen March Bioethics Institute at the Albany Medical College and a national certification as a Health Care Ethics Consultant-Certified (HEC-C) thru the American Society for Bioethics & Humanities.   “Uncle” Andy is Past President of both SCAHRM and ASHRM. He was ASHRM’s first Member Editor for its award-winning Journal of Healthcare Risk Management and in 2015 received ASHRM’s Distinguished Service Award (DSA). He has thrice received SCAHRM’s Most Viable Contributions to the Field for lifetime achievement. Andy has written more than 15 articles /Chapters on enterprise risk management, patient safety and bioethical topics that have been published in various medical/healthcare peer reviewed journals and textbook chapters including his latest 2022 Chapter: “Bioethical and Risk Management Issues in Kidney & Pancreas Transplantation.”


January 17, 2023
10:00 am - 11:00 am
$20 – $35
$20 – $35
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