© 2014, Marmara University. All rights reserved.People have wondered about death and process of death since the begining of time, trying to understand and explain it. Physicians change the definition of death as medical knowledge changes. The term “brain death” was introduced after the term “coma dépassé” had been defined in 1959 and a report about the “definition of irreversible coma” was published by Harvard Medical School in 1968. Cadaveric organ transplantation became more important with the introduction of the term “brain death”. In Turkey, “brain death” is used for legal and medical purposes according to the law as in most European countries. This article reviews the historical evolution of “brain death” and its effects on cadaveric organ transplantation.