Differences Between Death and Dying
Journal of Medical Ethics. 1995 Oct; 21(5): 270-276.
With so much attention being paid to the development and refinement of appropriate criteria and tests for death, little attention has been given to the broader conceptual issues having to do with its definition or with the relation of a definition to its criterion. The task of selecting the correct criterion is, however, virtually impossible without proper attention to the broader conceptual setting in which the definition operates as the key feature. All of the issues I will discuss arise because of this lack of concern with conceptual matters. Such problems as incorrectly diagnosing a patient as dead prior to the harvesting of his or her organs, defending the idea that death is reversible, and advocating a brainstem criterion of death, are all, I believe, errors that derive from this misplaced emphasis.
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Current Perspectives on Death, Dying, and Mourning Review of Death and Spirituality, Edited by Kenneth J. Doka and John Morgan; Spiritual, Ethical, and Pastoral Aspects of Death and Bereavement, Edited by Gerry R. Cox and Ronald J. Fundis; Facing Death: Images, Insights, and Interventions, by Sandra L. Bertman; in the Shadow of Illness: Parents and Siblings of the Chronically Ill Child, by Myra Bluebond-Langner; Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications Of the Dying, by Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley; Treatment of Complicated Mourning, by Therese A. Rando; How We Grieve: Relearning the World, by Thomas Attig; Disenfranchised Grief: Recognizing Hidden Sorrow, Edited by Kenneth J. Doka; No Voice Is Ever Wholly Lost: An Exploration of the Everlasting Attachment Between Parent and Child, by Louise J. Kaplan; the Near-Death Experience: A Reader, Edited by Lee W. Bailey and Jenny Yates; Experiences Near Death: Beyond Medicine and Religion, by Allan Kellehear Bregman, Lucy (1999-01)