Towards a holistic definition of death: the biological, philosophical and social deficiencies of brain stem death criteria

The New Bioethics 25 (2):172-184 (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

With no statutory definition of death, the accepted medical definition relies on brain stem death criteria as a definitive measure of diagnosing death. However, the use of brain stem death criteria in this way is precarious and causes widespread confusion amongst both medical and lay communities. Through critical analysis, this paper considers the insufficiencies of brain stem death. It concludes that brain stem death cannot be successfully equated with either biological death or the loss of integrated bodily function. The overemphasis of the brain-stem and its consequences leaves the criteria open to significant philosophical critique. Further, in some circumstances, the use of brain stem death criteria causes substantial emotional conflict for families and relatives. Accordingly, a more holistic and comprehensive definition of death is required.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,649

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

Analytic Philosophy And Death: Brain Death And Personal Identity.Maurizio Salvi - 1996 - Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics 6 (5):123-124.
Separating Death From Mind and Morals.Michael Lavin - 1989 - Public Affairs Quarterly 3 (3):35-47.
Reviving Brain Death: A Functionalist View. [REVIEW]Samuel H. LiPuma & Joseph P. DeMarco - 2013 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 10 (3):383-392.
Death, Brain Death, and Ethics.David Lamb - 1985 - State University of New York Press.
Changing the Conversation About Brain Death.Robert D. Truog & Franklin G. Miller - 2014 - American Journal of Bioethics 14 (8):9-14.
Decapitation and the Definition of Death.F. G. Miller & R. D. Truog - 2010 - Journal of Medical Ethics 36 (10):632-634.
Criteria for Death: Self-Determination and Public Policy.Hans-Martin Sass - 1992 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 17 (4):445-454.
How Not To Define Death: Some Objections To Cognitive Approaches.Michael Lavin - 1985 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 23 (3):313-324.
Whole-Brain Death Reconsidered.A. Browne - 1983 - Journal of Medical Ethics 9 (1):28-44.

Analytics

Added to PP
2019-05-26

Downloads
23 (#496,320)

6 months
1 (#419,510)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

The Astonishing Hypothesis.Francis Crick & J. Clark - 1994 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 1 (1):10-16.
An Alternative to Brain Death.Jeff McMahan - 2006 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 34 (1):44-48.

View all 28 references / Add more references