Brain death: A response to the commentaries

Peter Singer 1
  • 1 University Center for Human Values, Princeton University, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne

Abstract

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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  • DRANSEIKA, V. & NEIDERS, I. (2018): In defense of pluralistic policy on the determination of death. In: Ethics & Bioethics (in Central Europe), 8(3–4), pp. 179–188.

  • KALAJTZIDIS, J. (2018): The challenge of death and ethics of social consequences: Death of moral agency. In: Ethics & Bioethics (in Central Europe), 8(3–4), pp. 209–218.

  • KOMENSKÁ, K. (2018): Death, ethical judgments and dignity. In: Ethics & Bioethics (in Central Europe), 8(3–4), pp. 201–208.

  • NOWAK, P. G. (2018): Brain death as irreversible loss of a human’s moral status. In: Ethics & Bioethics (in Central Europe), 8(3–4), pp. 167–178.

  • SINGER, P. (2011): Practical Ethics, 3rd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • SINGER, P. (2018): The challenge of brain death for the sanctity of life ethic. In: Ethics & Bioethics (in Central Europe), 8(3–4), pp. 153–165.

  • ZIEMIŃSKI, I. (2018): The ethical problems of death pronouncement and organ donation: A commentary on Peter Singer’s article. In: Ethics & Bioethics (in Central Europe), 8(3–4), pp. 189–200.

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