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  1. Diagnosing Death: The “Fuzzy Area” Between Life and Decomposition.María A. Carrasco & Luca Valera - forthcoming - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics:1-24.
    This paper aims to determine whether it is necessary to propose the extreme of putrefaction as the only unmistakable sign in diagnosing the death of the human organism, as David Oderberg does in a recent paper. To that end, we compare Oderberg’s claims to those of other authors who align with him in espousing the so-called theory of hylomorphism but who defend either a neurological or a circulatory-respiratory criterion for death. We then establish which interpretation of biological phenomena is the (...)
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  • Why Psychological Accounts of Personal Identity Can Accept a Brain Death Criterion and Biological Definition of Death.David B. Hershenov - 2019 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 40 (5):403-418.
    Psychological accounts of personal identity claim that the human person is not identical to the human animal. Advocates of such accounts maintain that the definition and criterion of death for a human person should differ from the definition and criterion of death for a human animal. My contention is instead that psychological accounts of personal identity should have human persons dying deaths that are defined biologically, just like the deaths of human animals. Moreover, if brain death is the correct criterion (...)
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  • Whole-Brain Death and Integration: Realigning the Ontological Concept with Clinical Diagnostic Tests.Daniel P. Sulmasy - 2019 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 40 (5):455-481.
    For decades, physicians, philosophers, theologians, lawyers, and the public considered brain death a settled issue. However, a series of recent cases in which individuals were declared brain dead yet physiologically maintained for prolonged periods of time has challenged the status quo. This signals a need for deeper reflection and reexamination of the underlying philosophical, scientific, and clinical issues at stake in defining death. In this paper, I consider four levels of philosophical inquiry regarding death: the ontological basis, actual states of (...)
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  • Brain death: new questions and fresh perspectives.Farr Curlin - 2019 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 40 (5):355-358.
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  • When is Somebody Just Some Body? Ethics as First Philosophy and the Brain Death Debate.Jeffrey P. Bishop - 2019 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 40 (5):419-436.
    I, along with others, have been critical of the social construction of brain death and the various social factors that led to redefining death from cardiopulmonary failure to irreversible loss of brain functioning, or brain death. Yet this does not mean that brain death is not the best threshold to permit organ harvesting—or, as people today prefer to call it, organ procurement. Here I defend whole-brain death as a morally legitimate line that, once crossed, is grounds for families to give (...)
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