Integrated But Not Whole? Applying an Ontological Account of Human Organismal Unity to the Brain Death Debate
Bioethics 30 (8):550-556 (2016)
AbstractAs is clear in the 2008 report of the President's Council on Bioethics, the brain death debate is plagued by ambiguity in the use of such key terms as ‘integration’ and ‘wholeness’. Addressing this problem, I offer a plausible ontological account of organismal unity drawing on the work of Hoffman and Rosenkrantz, and then apply that account to the case of brain death, concluding that a brain dead body lacks the unity proper to a human organism, and has therefore undergone a substantial change. I also show how my view can explain hard cases better than one in which biological integration is taken to imply ontological wholeness or unity.
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Citations of this work
Brain Death as the End of a Human Organism as a Self-Moving Whole.Adam Omelianchuk - 2021 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 46 (5):530-560.
The human organism is not a conductorless orchestra: a defense of brain death as true biological death.Melissa Moschella - 2019 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 40 (5):437-453.
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.
How (Not) to Think of the ‘Dead-Donor’ Rule.Adam Omelianchuk - 2018 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 39 (1):1-25.
Do the ‘Brain Dead’ Merely Appear to Be Alive?Michael Nair-Collins & Franklin G. Miller - 2017 - Journal of Medical Ethics 43 (11):747-753.
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