When are you dead enough to be a donor? Can any feasible protocol for the determination of death on circulatory criteria respect the dead donor rule?
Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 40 (4):299-319 (2019)
AbstractThe basic question concerning the compatibility of donation after circulatory death protocols with the dead donor rule is whether such protocols can guarantee that the loss of relevant biological functions is truly irreversible. Which functions are the relevant ones? I argue that the answer to this question can be derived neither from a proper understanding of the meaning of the term “death” nor from a proper understanding of the nature of death as a biological phenomenon. The concept of death can be made fully determinate only by stipulation. I propose to focus on the irreversible loss of the capacity for consciousness and the capacity for spontaneous breathing. Having accepted that proposal, the meaning of “irreversibility” need not be twisted in order to claim that DCD protocols can guarantee that the loss of these functions is irreversible. And this guarantee does not mean that reversing that loss is either conceptually impossible or known to be impossible with absolute certainty.
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References found in this work
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Lady Parts: The Metaphysics of Pregnancy.Elselijn Kingma - 2018 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 82:165-187.
Determination of Death: A Scientific Perspective on Biological Integration.Maureen L. Condic - 2016 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 41 (3):257-278.
Deconstructing the Brain Disconnection–Brain Death Analogy and Clarifying the Rationale for the Neurological Criterion of Death.Melissa Moschella - 2016 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 41 (3):279-299.
Citations of this work
Does Controlled Donation After Circulatory Death Violate the Dead Donor Rule?Emil J. Nielsen Busch & Marius T. Mjaaland - forthcoming - American Journal of Bioethics:1-8.
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