David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 5 (2) (1984)
In this paper I address three problems posed by modern medical technology regarding comatose dying patients. The first is that physicians sometimes hide behind the tests for whole-brain death rather than make the necessary human decision. The second is that the tests themselves betray a metaphysical judgment about death that may be ontologically faulty. The third is that discretion used by physicians and patients and/or family in deciding to cease treatment when the whole-brain death criteria may not be met are sometimes open to challenge. In each of these problems I find that the operative concept of death relates to life itself. This point is expanded by examining the uses of the word death in our language and culture. From these I formulate an initial ontology of death. In it, death is described through a relationship with life, rather than as an absence of life, of consciousness, awareness, or sensation. This ontology then leads to a proposal for an ethics of discretion about the discontinuation of treatment for comatose patients.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Sherry R. Schachter (2009). Cancer Patients Facing Death : Is the Patient Who Focuses on Living in Denial of His/Her Death? In Michael K. Bartalos (ed.), Speaking of Death: America's New Sense of Mortality. Praeger.
Dan W. Brock (1993). Life and Death: Philosophical Essays in Biomedical Ethics. Cambridge University Press.
Ari Joffe (2010). Are Recent Defences of the Brain Death Concept Adequate? Bioethics 24 (2):47-53.
Edith Wyschogrod (1973). The Phenomenon of Death. New York,Harper & Row.
Erich H. Loewy (1988). Oh Death, Where is Thy Sting? Reflections on Dealing with Dying Patients. Journal of Medical Humanities and Bioethics 9 (2):135-142.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads20 ( #100,087 of 1,692,598 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #181,215 of 1,692,598 )
How can I increase my downloads?