Brain Death and Human Organismal Integration: A Symposium on the Definition of Death

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 41 (3):229-236 (2016)


Does the ability of some brain dead bodies to maintain homeostasis with the help of artificial life support actually imply that those bodies are living human organisms? Or might it be possible that a brain dead body on life support is a mere collection of still-living cells, organs and tissues which can coordinate with one another, but which lack the genuine integration that is the hallmark of a unified human organism as a whole? To foster further study of these difficult and timely questions, a Symposium on the Definition of Death was held at The Catholic University of America in June 2014. The Symposium brought together scholars from a variety of disciplines—law, medicine, biology, philosophy and theology—who all share a commitment to the dead donor rule and to a biological definition of death, but who have differing opinions regarding the validity of neurological criteria for human death. The papers found in this special issue are among the fruits of this Symposium

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Melissa Moschella
Catholic University of America

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Human Nature and Moral Status in Bioethics.Matthew Shea - 2018 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 43 (2):115-131.

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