Consciousness, the Brain and What Matters
Bioethics. 1990 Jul; 4(3): 181-198.
Grant Gillett argues that it is consciousness which makes a human or other being the 'locus of ethical value'. Since cortical functioning is, in Gillett's view, necessary for conscious activity, an individual whose neocortex is permanently non-functional is no longer a locus of ethical value and cannot be benefited or harmed in a morally relevant sense. This means that there is no obligation to continue treating those who have suffered neocortical death.
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Gillett, Grant R. (2009-09)The human brain is subjective and reflects the life of a being-in-the-world-with-others whose identity reflects that complex engaged reality. Human subjectivity is shaped and in-formed (formed by inner processes) that are ...