GEORGE TOWN: A law lecturer has called for the culprits behind the brutal assault of a teenager to be charged with murder, as their actions were a direct cause for his current condition of being brain dead.
Shamsher Singh Thind, who teaches at a private university here, said since T Nhaveen’s injuries resulted in him becoming brain dead, there is no reason for the police to delay any further in classifying the case as murder.
“A person who is medically termed brain dead has had an irreversible cessation of all functions of the brain, with no more blood flow and oxygen delivery to the brain as well.
“I am not sure what is the present medical condition of Nhaveen but if he is indeed ‘brain dead’, as medical examiners say, then the police should re-classify the case as murder.
“Also, doctors are afraid to pull the plug because, if they do, they can be blamed for the death. Hence, taking a dying person off life support requires the consent of a next-of-kin.
“The hospital authorities must explain what kind of brain damage we are dealing with. Some patients could be in a deep coma or may be suffering other complications,” Shamsher told FMT.
Shamsher said Malaysia’s interpretation act should be revised to define someone who is brain dead as being dead, giving the comparison with Singapore, where being brain dead was considered “as good as dead”.
He explained the republic’s Interpretation (Determination and Certification of Death) Regulations 1998 had set out the seven criterion to determine being brain dead.
The medical conditions that were set under the law were:
(a) the pupils are fixed and non-reactive to strong light;
(b) there is no corneal reflex;
(c) there is no spontaneous motor response to painful stimulus, excluding spinal reflexes;
(d) there is no oculocephalic reflex;
(e) there is no gag reflex or reflex response to tracheobronchial stimulation;
(f) there is no vestibulo-ocular response on instillation of 50 cubic centimetres of ice-cold water into each ear; and
(g) there is no spontaneous respiration even with carbon dioxide tension at 50 millimetres or more of mercury.