The Incoherence of Determining Death by Neurological Criteria: Reply to John Lizza
Miller, Franklin G.
Truog, Robert D.
Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 2009 December; 19(4): 397-399
Human life and death should be defined biologically. It is important not to conflate the definition of death with the criteria for when it has occurred. What is distinctively "human" from a scientific or normative perspective has nothing to do with what makes humans alive or dead. We are biological organisms, despite the fact that what is meaningful about human life is not defined in biological terms. Consequently, as in the rest of the realm of living beings, human beings die when they no longer function biologically as organisms. In contrast, a determination of exactly when death has occurred, required to serve various social purposes, combines social and normative considerations with biological facts.
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The Incoherence of Determining Death by Neurological Criteria: A Commentary on "Controversies in the Determination of Death", a White Paper by the President's Council on Bioethics Miller, Franklin G.; Truog, Robert D. (2009-06)Traditionally the cessation of breathing and heart beat has marked the passage from life to death. Shortly after death was determined, the body became a cold corpse, suitable for burial or cremation. Two technological ...