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The challenge of brain death for the sanctity of life ethic

–1372. SHEWMON, D. A. (2001): The Brain and Somatic Integration: Insights into the standard biological rationale for equating ‘brain death’ with death. In: Journal of Medicine and Philosophy , 26(5), pp. 457–478. SHEWMON, D. A. (2012): You only die once: why brain death is not the death of a human being. In: Communio , 39(2), pp. 423–494. SHEWMON, D. A. (2018): Truly Reconciling the Case of Jahi McMath. In: Neurocritical Care , 29(2), pp. 165–170. SINGER, P. (1995): Rethinking life and death . Oxford: Oxford University Press. THE PROLONGATION OF

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Brain death: A response to the commentaries


My recent article, “The challenge of brain death for the sanctity of life ethic” (Ethics & Bioethics (in Central Europe), 2018, 8 (3–4), pp. 153–165) elicited five commentaries. In this brief response, I clarify my own position in the light of some misunderstandings, and discuss whether the definition of death is best thought of as an ethical question, or as a matter of fact. I also comment on the suggestion that we should allow people to choose the criteria by which they wish their own death to be determined, or their organs removed to be donated to others.

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Diagnosing “Brain Death” in Intensive Care

: Bryant CD, ed.: Handbook of death and dying. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc, 2003; pp. 284-92. 12. Bael NA. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation on television. Exaggeration and accusation. N Engl J Med. 1996;334:1604-5. 13. Diem SJ, Lantos JD, Tulsky JA. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation on television. Miracles and misinformation. N Engl J Med. 1996;334:1578-82. 14. Paris JJ, Cummings BM, Moore MP Jr. “Brain death,” “dead,” and parental denial - the case of Jahi McMath. Camb Q. Healthc Ethics. 2014

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