Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 38 (2):205-218 (2013)

The December 2008 White Paper (WP) on “Brain Death” published by the President’s Council on Bioethics (PCBE) reaffirmed its support for the traditional neurological criteria for human death. It spends considerable time explaining and critiquing what it takes to be the most challenging recent argument opposing the neurological criteria formulated by D. Alan Shewmon, a leading critic of the “whole brain death” standard. The purpose of this essay is to evaluate and critique the PCBE’s argument. The essay begins with a brief background on the history of the neurological criteria in the United States and on the preparation of the 2008 WP. After introducing the WP’s contents, the essay sets forth Shewmon’s challenge to the traditional neurological criteria and the PCBE’s reply to Shewmon. The essay concludes by critiquing the WP’s novel justification for reaffirming the traditional conclusion, a justification the essay finds wanting
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/jmp/jht009
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,018
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Are Brain Dead Individuals Dead? Grounds for Reasonable Doubt.E. Christian Brugger - 2016 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 41 (3):329-350.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Death Revisited: Rethinking Death and the Dead Donor Rule.A. S. Iltis & M. J. Cherry - 2010 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 35 (3):223-241.
Reevaluating the Dead Donor Rule.Mike Collins - 2010 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 35 (2):1-26.
Potentiality, Irreversibility, and Death.John P. Lizza - 2005 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 30 (1):45 – 64.
Brain Death and the US President's Council on Bioethics.Kevin McGovern - 2009 - Chisholm Health Ethics Bulletin 14 (4):9.
The Dead Donor Rule: Lessons From Linguistics.D. Alan Shewmon - 2004 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 14 (3):277-300.
Brain Death: Can It Be Resuscitated?D. Alan Shewmon - 2009 - Hastings Center Report 39 (2):18-24.


Added to PP index

Total views
65 ( #174,242 of 2,498,304 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #426,910 of 2,498,304 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes