Clarifying the discussion on brain death

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 26 (5):503 – 525 (2001)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Definitions of death are based on subjective standards, priorities, and social conventions rather than on objective facts about the state of human physiology. It is the meaning assigned to the facts that determines whensomeone may be deemed to have died, not the facts themselves. Even though subjective standards for the diagnosis of death show remarkable consistency across communities, they are extrinsic. They are driven, implicitly or explicitly, by ideas about what benefits the community rather than what benefits the indidvidual. The differences that do exist across communities generally reduce to questions about legitimacy and not fact. The questions at the core of the debate about brain death are better framed by asking: Whom ought we deem to be dead? rather than: Who is dead. The rationale for equating brain death with death, therefore, extends well beyond somatic and biological concepts of death.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,369

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
65 (#251,276)

6 months
2 (#1,206,222)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references