Commentary on the Concept of Brain Death within the Catholic Bioethical Framework

Christian Bioethics 16 (3):246-256 (2010)

Authors
Michael Potts
University of Georgia
Abstract
Since the introduction of the concept of brain death by the Ad Hoc Committee of the Harvard Medical School to Examine the Definition of Brain Death in 1968, the validity of this concept has been challenged by medical scientists, as well as by legal, philosophical, and religious scholars. In light of increased criticism of the concept of brain death, Stephen Napier, a staff ethicist at the National Catholic Bioethics Center, set out to prove that the whole-brain death criterion serves as good evidence for death in the Catholic bioethical framework, on the grounds that when whole-brain death has occurred the soul has already departed from the body. Opponents have argued that (1) brain death does not disrupt the somatic integrative unity and coordinated biological functioning of a living organism and (2) clinical tests outlined in the practice guidelines for determining brain death lack sufficient power to exclude persisting function and fail to detect elements of the brain that, although currently functionless, may retain potential for recovery under conditions of optimal medical care. It is therefore possible that heart-beating organ procurement from patients with impaired consciousness is de facto a concealed practice of active euthanasia and physician-assisted death, both of which, either concealed or overt, the Catholic Church opposes
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/cb/cbq019
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 42,236
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Brain Death - Too Flawed to Endure, Too Ingrained to Abandon.Robert D. Truog - 2007 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 35 (2):273-281.
Brain Death: Can It Be Resuscitated?D. Alan Shewmon - 2009 - Hastings Center Report 39 (2):18-24.
Brain Death — Too Flawed to Endure, Too Ingrained to Abandon.Robert D. Truog - 2007 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 35 (2):273-281.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Brain Death and the Catholic Church.Kevin McGovern - 2008 - Chisholm Health Ethics Bulletin 14 (1):6.
Whole-Brain Death Reconsidered.A. Browne - 1983 - Journal of Medical Ethics 9 (1):28-44.
The Problematic Symmetry Between Brain Birth and Brain Death.D. G. Jones - 1998 - Journal of Medical Ethics 24 (4):237-242.
Brain Death Without Definitions.Winston Chiong - 2005 - Hastings Center Report 35 (6):20-30.
Reviving Brain Death: A Functionalist View. [REVIEW]Samuel H. LiPuma & Joseph P. DeMarco - 2013 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 10 (3):383-392.
Re-Examining Death: Against a Higher Brain Criterion.Josie Fisher - 1999 - Journal of Medical Ethics 25 (6):473-476.
The Conservative Use of the Brain-Death Criterion – a Critique.Tom Tomlinson - 1984 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 9 (4):377-394.
Decapitation and the Definition of Death.F. G. Miller & R. D. Truog - 2010 - Journal of Medical Ethics 36 (10):632-634.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2013-11-23

Total views
32 ( #258,521 of 2,254,263 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #782,717 of 2,254,263 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature