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Michael Nair-Collins
Florida State University
  1.  5
    Frequent Preservation of Neurologic Function in Brain Death and Brainstem Death Entails False-Positive Misdiagnosis and Cerebral Perfusion.Michael Nair-Collins & Ari R. Joffe - 2023 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 14 (3):255-268.
    Some patients who have been diagnosed as “dead by neurologic criteria” continue to exhibit certain brain functions, most commonly, neuroendocrine functions. This preservation of neurologic function after the diagnosis of “brain death” or “brainstem death” is an ongoing source of controversy and concern in the medical, bioethics, and legal literatures. Most obviously, if some brain function persists, then it is not the case that all functions of the entire brain have ceased and hence, declaring such a patient to be “dead” (...)
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  2.  26
    Abandoning the dead donor rule? A national survey of public views on death and organ donation.Michael Nair-Collins, Sydney R. Green & Angelina R. Sutin - 2015 - Journal of Medical Ethics 41 (4):297-302.
  3.  31
    Do the ‘brain dead’ merely appear to be alive?Michael Nair-Collins & Franklin G. Miller - 2017 - Journal of Medical Ethics 43 (11):747-753.
    The established view regarding ‘brain death’ in medicine and medical ethics is that patients determined to be dead by neurological criteria are dead in terms of a biological conception of death, not a philosophical conception of personhood, a social construction or a legal fiction. Although such individuals show apparent signs of being alive, in reality they are dead, though this reality is masked by the intervention of medical technology. In this article, we argue that an appeal to the distinction between (...)
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  4.  21
    Taking Science Seriously in the Debate on Death and Organ Transplantation.Michael Nair-Collins - 2015 - Hastings Center Report 45 (6):38-48.
    The concept of death and its relationship to organ transplantation continue to be sources of debate and confusion among academics, clinicians, and the public. Recently, an international group of scholars and clinicians, in collaboration with the World Health Organization, met in the first phase of an effort to develop international guidelines for determination of death. The goal of this first phase was to focus on the biology of death and the dying process while bracketing legal, ethical, cultural, and religious perspectives. (...)
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  5.  60
    A Biological Theory of Death: Characterization, Justification, and Implications.Michael Nair-Collins - 2018 - Diametros 55:27-43.
    John P. Lizza has long been a major figure in the scholarly literature on criteria for death. His searching and penetrating critiques of the dominant biological paradigm, and his defense of a theory of death of the person as a psychophysical entity, have both significantly advanced the literature. In this special issue, Lizza reinforces his critiques of a strictly biological approach. In my commentary, I take up Lizza’s challenge regarding a biological concept of death. He is certainly right to point (...)
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  6.  92
    Brain Death, Paternalism, and the Language of “Death”.Michael Nair-Collins - 2013 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 23 (1):53-104.
    The controversy over brain death and the dead donor rule continues unabated, with some of the same key points and positions starting to see repetition in the literature. One might wonder whether some of the participants are talking past each other, not all debating the same issue, even though they are using the same words (e.g., “death”). One reason for this is the complexity of the debate: It’s not merely about the nature of human life and death. Interwoven into this (...)
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  7.  13
    Abortion, Brain Death, and Coercion.Michael Nair-Collins - 2023 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 20 (3):359-365.
    A “universalist” policy on brain death holds that brain death is death, and neurologic criteria for death determination are rightly applied to all, without exemptions or opt outs. This essay argues that advocates of a universalist brain death policy defend the same sort of coercive control of end-of-life decision-making as “pro-life” advocates seek to achieve for reproductive decision-making, and both are grounded in an illiberal political philosophy. Those who recognize the serious flaws of this kind of public policy with respect (...)
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  8.  71
    Can the Brain-Dead Be Harmed or Wronged?: On the Moral Status of Brain Death and its Implications for Organ Transplantation.Michael Nair-Collins - 2017 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 27 (4):525-559.
    The dead donor rule, which requires that organ donors not be killed by the process of organ procurement, is thought to protect vulnerable patients from exploitation and from being harmed through organ procurement. In current practice, the majority of transplantable organs are retrieved from patients who are declared dead by neurological criteria, or "brain-dead." Because brain death is considered to be sufficient for death, it is thought that brain-dead donors are neither harmed nor wronged by organ removal.In this essay I (...)
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  9.  10
    Is heart transplantation after circulatory death compatible with the dead donor rule?Michael Nair-Collins & Franklin G. Miller - 2016 - Journal of Medical Ethics 42 (5):319-320.
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  10.  18
    Clinical and ethical perspectives on brain death.Michael Nair-Collins - 2015 - Medicolegal and Bioethics 5:69-80.
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  11.  48
    Laying Futility to Rest.Michael Nair-Collins - 2015 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 40 (5):554-583.
    In this essay I examine the formal structure of the concept of futility, enabling identification of the appropriate roles played by patient, professional, and society. I argue that the concept of futility does not justify unilateral decisions to forego life-sustaining medical treatment over patient or legitimate surrogate objection, even when futility is determined by a process or subject to ethics committee review. Furthermore, I argue for a limited positive ethical obligation on the part of health care professionals to assist patients (...)
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  12.  14
    Commentary: False Positives in the Diagnosis of Brain Death.Michael Nair-Collins & Franklin G. Miller - 2019 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 28 (4):648-656.
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  13.  32
    Moral Evaluations of Organ Transplantation Influence Judgments of Death and Causation.Michael Nair-Collins & Mary A. Gerend - 2015 - Neuroethics 8 (3):283-297.
    Two experiments investigated whether moral evaluations of organ transplantation influence judgments of death and causation. Participants’ beliefs about whether an unconscious organ donor was dead and whether organ removal caused death in a hypothetical vignette varied depending on the moral valence of the vignette. Those who were randomly assigned to the good condition were more likely to believe that the donor was dead prior to organ removal and that organ removal did not cause death. Furthermore, attitudes toward euthanasia and organ (...)
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  14.  17
    The Public's Right to Accurate and Transparent Information about Brain Death and Organ Transplantation.Michael Nair-Collins - 2018 - Hastings Center Report 48 (S4):43-45.
    The organ transplantation enterprise is morally flawed. “Brain‐dead” donors are the primary source of solid vital organs, and the transplantation enterprise emphasizes that such donors are dead before organs are removed—or in other words that the dead donor rule is followed. However, individuals meeting standard diagnostic criteria for brain death—unresponsiveness, brainstem areflexia, and apnea—are still living, from a physiological perspective. Therefore, removing vital organs from a heart‐beating, mechanically ventilated donor is lethal. But neither donors nor surrogates nor the public in (...)
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  15.  8
    Response to Commentaries: Frequent Preservation of Neurologic Function in Brain Death and Brainstem Death Entails False-Positive Misdiagnosis and Cerebral Perfusion.Ari R. Joffe & Michael Nair-Collins - 2024 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 15 (1).
    We thank the authors of commentaries for their thoughtful discussion of our target article. Here we briefly summarize the points made in the target article (Nair-Collins and Joffe 2023). Then we em...
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  16.  25
    Medical Futility and Involuntary Passive Euthanasia.Michael Nair-Collins - 2018 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 60 (3):415-422.
    Conflicts surrounding the provision of life-sustaining treatment create difficult ethical and interpersonal challenges for providers, patients, and families or other surrogates alike. These conflicts implicate a constellation of ethical concepts, including distributive justice, harms and wrongs to patients, fiduciary obligations to patients, standards for surrogate decision-making, and medical futility. Recently, several critical care societies published a policy statement on conflicts at the end of life, and advocated for a new concept, “potentially inappropriate treatment”. They argued that in some circumstances, after (...)
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  17.  10
    Responsibility for Poor Health Status of Lower Income People Must Account for Morally Blameworthy Decisions Made by Employers Who Exploit Them.Michael Nair-Collins - 2018 - American Journal of Bioethics 18 (10):17-19.
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  18.  5
    Organismal Superposition and Death.Michael Nair-Collins - 2024 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 67 (1):22-30.
    ABSTRACT:Organismal superposition holds that the same individual both is and is not an organism, as a consequence of organismal pluralism. When coupled with the assumption that death is the cessation of an organism, this entails that there is no unique answer as to whether brain death is biological death. This essay argues that concerns about organismal pluralism and superposition do not undermine a theory of biological death, nor entail any metaphysical indeterminacy about the biological vital status of a brain-dead individual.
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  19.  7
    There Is Only One Sphere of Morality.Michael Nair-Collins - 2023 - American Journal of Bioethics 23 (12):51-53.
    Physicians participate in several kinds of activities in their professional lives. Clinical care is the core function of the physician. Medical education is overwhelmingly oriented toward this func...
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  20.  39
    It Is Time to Abandon the Dogma That Brain Death Is Biological Death.Franklin G. Miller, Michael Nair-Collins & Robert D. Truog - 2021 - Hastings Center Report 51 (4):18-21.
    Drawing on a recent case report of a pregnant, brain‐dead woman who gave birth to a healthy child after over seven months of intensive care treatment, this essay rejects the established doctrine in medicine that brain death constitutes the biological death of the human being. The essay describes three policy options with respect to determination of death and vital organ transplantation in the case of patients who are irreversibly comatose but remain biologically alive.
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  21.  10
    An unquestioned assumption in the debate on the dead donor rule.Michael Nair-Collins - 2018 - Journal of Medical Ethics 44 (12):872-873.
    Frank Miller and I recently argued that the common assertion that ‘brain dead’ patients merely appear to be alive, though in reality are dead, is false.1 This assertion relies on an inaccurate and overly simplistic understanding of the role of medical technology in the physiology of a ‘brain dead’ patient. In response, Symons and Chua endorsed our conclusions regarding the vital status of the ventilated ‘brain dead’ patient, and then pursued the question: what does this imply if we are to (...)
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  22.  12
    Expanding the Social Status of "Corpse" to the Severely Comatose: Henry Beecher and the Harvard Brain Death Committee.Michael Nair-Collins - 2022 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 65 (1):41-58.
  23.  7
    From the Slaughterhouse to the Laboratory Bench: On the Ethics of Using Slaughtered Animals for Biomedical Research.Michael Nair-Collins - 2021 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 64 (2):173-188.
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  24.  22
    Representation in Biological Systems: Teleofunction, Etiology, and Structural Preservation.Michael Nair-Collins - 2013 - In Liz Swan (ed.), Origins of Mind. pp. 161--185.
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  25. Representation in biological systems : teleofunction, etiology, and structural preservation.Michael Nair-Collins - 2012 - In Liz Stillwaggon Swan (ed.), Origins of mind. Springer.
     
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