Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Frontmatter

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

read more

Preface

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-xii

This work challenges the “biological paradigm” of death that has provided the theoretical grounding for acceptance of “brain death” as death. Whereas the paradigm treats human or personal death as a strictly biological matter, I hope to show that human or personal death is no less a metaphysical, ethical, and cultural matter than a biological one and that such considerations are necessary to justify any particular definition and criteria for ...

read more

Introduction: The Biological Paradigm of Death

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-6

Advances in medical technology have posed many ethical and social problems, but perhaps none more fundamental and challenging than the problem of defining death. The development of life-sustaining technology and organ transplantation has resulted in revision, worldwide, of the legal definitions of death. In addition to the traditional criteria for determining death...

read more

1. Establishment of the Biological Paradigm

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 7-16

Before presenting my arguments for challenging the biological paradigm, I shall examine whether and to what extent the assumptions in the paradigm were made in the early work on defining death, when neurological criteria for death were first introduced. While it might be claimed that these assumptions were accepted long before the modern discussion of the definition ...

read more

2. Defining Death: Beyond Biology

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 17-33

Proponents of a consciousness-related or “higher-brain” formulation of deathhold that the capacity for consciousness is essential to the life of a human being or person and that death occurs when a human being or person loses this capacity (Engelhardt 1975; Veatch 1975, 1988; Green and Wikler 1980; Gervais 1986; Lizza1993b; McMahan 1995, 2002). Advocates of this view understand consciousness and...

read more

3. Concepts of Person

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 34-50

Gilbert Meilaender claims that two competing “visions” of a person—and of the relation of person to body—have been “at war with each other since the three decades or so that bioethics has been a burgeoning movement” (Meilaender 1993, 29). The first view divorces the person from our biological nature or the history of our ...

read more

4. Persons as Substances

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 51-62

The current whole-brain neurological criterion for death specifies the cessation of all functions of the brain, including those of the brain stem. This criterion has come under attack from two sides: (1) by those who reject any brain-based criteria for death and argue for a return to the traditional circulatory and respiratory criteria and (2) by proponents of a consciousness-related formulation....

read more

5. The Constitutive View of Persons

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 63-93

In an earlier work (Lizza 1991), I argued that the relation between the person and the human organism should be understood as one of constitution.¹ Following Tyler Burge’s discussion (1975) of how the notion of constitution captures the relation between ordinary objects, such as balls and tables, and the kind of stuff they are made of, such as gold or wood, I suggested ...

read more

6. Persons as Human Organisms

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 94-110

Critics of a consciousness-related formulation of death who employ the “species meaning” of person, such as Capron, Olson, and Feldman, can (unlike Bernat, Culver, and Gert) consistently maintain that the person continues to exist in cases of permanent vegetative state (PermVS). Since these theorists identify the person with the human organism, they claim that, when we point to the ...

read more

7. Persons as Qualities or Phases of Human Organisms

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 112-150

The constitutive interpretation of the relation between the person and the human being explains how there can be a divergence in the life histories of persons and human beings and how, at the same time, a person can be a substance without generating a case of relative identity. It may be claimed, however, that we should abandon the notion that persons are substances in favor of treating them as phases or functional specifications ...

read more

8. Public Policy and the Definition of Death

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 152-180

In 1999, Stuart J. Youngner, Robert M. Arnold, and Renie Schapiro published a collection of essays entitled The Definition of Death: Contemporary Controversies. What is perhaps most interesting about the collection is that so many of the essays reject so many of the assumptions in the current biological paradigm of death. For example, Robert Burt ...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 181-192

References

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 193-205

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 207-212