In deceased donor liver transplants, the donor may be a victim of an accident or head injury. The donor’s heart is still beating, but the brain has stopped functioning. Such a person is considered legally dead, because his or her brain has permanently and irreversibly stopped working. At this point, the donor is usually in an intensive-care unit and life support is withdrawn in the operating room during the transplant.
The identity of a deceased donor and circumstances surrounding the person’s death are kept confidential.