Current definition of death challenged

bioedge.org | Xavier Symons | 2 Sep 2017
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By Brian Hall - Own work, Public Domain, Link

A new article in the Journal of Medical Ethics challenges conventional accounts of human death, and calls for a “new consensus” on the ethics of vital organ transplantation.

Bioethicists Michael Nair-Collins, of Florida State University College, and Frank Miller, of Weill Cornell Medical College, assert that patients who are brain dead may nevertheless be said to have retained the integrated functioning characteristic of human life. This is the case even when the patient is supposedly “dependent” on a ventilator.

The authors observe that that mechanical interventions (such as a ventilator) do not in and of themselves allow for the functioning of the lungs and heart -- other natural bodily operations play and equally important causal role…

The corollary to this is that the ethical justification for organ procurement from brain dead patients is undercut…

The authors suggest that “a new consensus” must be reached on the ethics of vital organ transplantation -- “one which is not premised on demonstrably false claims about the vital status of biologically living patients”. Read more

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Public Domain, Link

...and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind ... the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind ...the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. -Genesis 1

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