Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 12 (2):211-225 (2015)

Abstract
The concept of brain death as equivalent to cardiopulmonary death was initially conceived following developments in neuroscience, critical care, and transplant technology. It is now a routine part of medicine in Western countries, including the United States. In contrast, Eastern countries have been reluctant to incorporate brain death into legislation and medical practice. Several countries, most notably China, still lack laws recognizing brain death and national medical standards for making the diagnosis. The perception is that Asians are less likely to approve of brain death or organ transplant from brain dead donors. Cultural and religious traditions have been referenced to explain this apparent difference. In the West, the status of the brain as home to the soul in Enlightenment philosophy, combined with pragmatism and utilitarianism, supports the concept of brain death. In the East, the integration of body with spirit and nature in Buddhist and folk beliefs, along with the Confucian social structure that builds upon interpersonal relationships, argues against brain death. However, it is unclear whether these reasoning strategies are explicitly used when families and medical providers are faced with acknowledging brain death. Their decisions are more likely to involve a prioritization of values and a rationalization of intuitive responses. Why and whether there might be differences between East and West in the acceptance of the brain death concept requires further empirical testing, which would help inform policy-making and facilitate communication between providers and patients from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds
Keywords Brain death  Cultural differences  Religion  Philosophy  Asia
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DOI 10.1007/s11673-014-9564-x
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References found in this work BETA

Is It Time to Abandon Brain Death?Robert D. Truog - 1997 - Hastings Center Report 27 (1):29-37.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Rubicon Already Crossed.Karen S. Rommelfanger & Paul F. Boshears - 2017 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 8 (4):197-199.

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