Continuing the definition of death debate: The report of the president's council on bioethics on controversies in the determination of death
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Bioethics 26 (2):101-107 (2012)
The President's Council on Bioethics has recently released a report supportive of the continued use of brain death as a criterion for human death. The Council's conclusions were based on a conception of life that stressed external work as the fundamental marker of organismic life. With respect to human life, it is spontaneous respiration in particular that indicates an ability to interact with the external environment, and so indicates the presence of life. Conversely, irreversible apnoea marks an inability to carry out the necessary work of life, an inability which the Council considers an indicator of death. This conception has been conceived to circumvent criticisms of the previous model of loss of somatic integration, a model the Council admits that, in the presence of evidence of continuing functional integration in brain dead patients, was looking less than convincing. Nevertheless, by focusing on external work and ignoring the more essential work of integrative unity, the Council's conception of the nature of life is untenable, and of no assistance in supporting a relation of equivalence between the concepts of brain death and death. Consequently, the Council's conclusions do little to advance the definition of death debate, a potentially intractable debate that may necessitate the investigation of alternate ethical justifications for organ harvesting
|Keywords||brain death President's Council organ donation bioethics organism death|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Mohamed Y. Rady & Joseph L. Verheijde (2013). Brain-Dead Patients Are Not Cadavers: The Need to Revise the Definition of Death in Muslim Communities. [REVIEW] HEC Forum 25 (1):25-45.
Similar books and articles
Robert M. Veatch (2005). The Death of Whole-Brain Death: The Plague of the Disaggregators, Somaticists, and Mentalists. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 30 (4):353 – 378.
Ari Joffe (2010). Are Recent Defences of the Brain Death Concept Adequate? Bioethics 24 (2):47-53.
Tom Tomlinson (1984). The Conservative Use of the Brain-Death Criterion – a Critique. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 9 (4):377-394.
Carson Strong (2006). Preembryo Personhood: An Assessment of the President's Council Arguments. [REVIEW] Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 27 (5):433-453.
G. Khushf (2010). A Matter of Respect: A Defense of the Dead Donor Rule and of a "Whole-Brain" Criterion for Determination of Death. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 35 (3):330-364.
Franklin G. Miller Robert D. Truog (2009). The Incoherence of Determining Death by Neurological Criteria: A Commentary on Controversies in the Determination of Death , a White Paper by the President's Council on Bioethics. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 19 (2):pp. 185-193.
President'S. Council on Bioethics (2009). Selection From Controversies in the Determination of Death : A White Paper. In John P. Lizza (ed.), Defining the Beginning and End of Life: Readings on Personal Identity and Bioethics. Johns Hopkins University Press.
Nicholas Tonti-Filippini (2011). Religious and Secular Death: A Parting of the Ways. Bioethics 26 (8):410-421.
Added to index2010-03-25
Total downloads46 ( #44,688 of 1,692,513 )
Recent downloads (6 months)8 ( #28,421 of 1,692,513 )
How can I increase my downloads?