Brain-Dead Patients are not Cadavers: The Need to Revise the Definition of Death in Muslim Communities [Book Review]
HEC Forum 25 (1):25-45 (2013)
AbstractThe utilitarian construct of two alternative criteria of human death increases the supply of transplantable organs at the end of life. Neither the neurological criterion (heart-beating donation) nor the circulatory criterion (non-heart-beating donation) is grounded in scientific evidence but based on philosophical reasoning. A utilitarian death definition can have unintended consequences for dying Muslim patients: (1) the expedited process of determining death for retrieval of transplantable organs can lead to diagnostic errors, (2) the equivalence of brain death with human death may be incorrect, and (3) end-of-life religious values and traditional rituals may be sacrificed. Therefore, it is imperative to reevaluate the two different types and criteria of death introduced by the Resolution (Fatwa) of the Council of Islamic Jurisprudence on Resuscitation Apparatus in 1986. Although we recognize that this Fatwa was based on best scientific evidence available at that time, more recent evidence shows that it rests on outdated knowledge and understanding of the phenomenon of human death. We recommend redefining death in Islam to reaffirm the singularity of this biological phenomenon as revealed in the Quran 14 centuries ago
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References found in this work
The Brain and Somatic Integration: Insights Into the Standard Biological Rationale for Equating Brain Death with Death.D. Alan Shewmon - 2001 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 26 (5):457 – 478.
Donation After Cardiocirculatory Death: A Call for a Moratorium Pending Full Public Disclosure and Fully Informed Consent.Ari R. Joffe, Joe Carcillo, Natalie Anton, Allan deCaen, Yong Y. Han, Michael J. Bell, Frank A. Maffei, John Sullivan, James Thomas & Gonzalo Garcia-Guerra - 2011 - Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 6:17.
Donation After Circulatory Death: Burying the Dead Donor Rule.David Rodríguez-Arias, Maxwell J. Smith & Neil M. Lazar - 2011 - American Journal of Bioethics 11 (8):36-43.
Citations of this work
Islamic Perspectives on Clinical Intervention Near the End-of-Life: We Can but Must We?Aasim I. Padela & Omar Qureshi - 2017 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 20 (4):545-559.
The Moral Code in Islam and Organ Donation in Western Countries: Reinterpreting Religious Scriptures to Meet Utilitarian Medical Objectives.Mohamed Y. Rady & Joseph L. Verheijde - 2014 - Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 9:11.
The Determination of Quality of Life and Medical Futility in Disorders of Consciousness: Reinterpreting the Moral Code of Islam.Mohamed Y. Rady & Joseph L. Verheijde - 2015 - American Journal of Bioethics 15 (1):14-16.
Campaigning for Organ Donation at Mosques.Mohamed Y. Rady & Joseph L. Verheijde - 2016 - HEC Forum 28 (3):193-204.
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