Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ongoing Debate: When Is Dead Really Dead?

The push to redefine death goes on – all in favor of organ recipients and with little concern with what happens to the donors.
Donation after cardiac death: controversies with a controversy
There are few areas in bioethics which require more philosophical subtlety than determining when death happens in organ donation. But an NPR feature this week on the controversial problem of donation after cardiac death has highlighted an area which is even more controversial.
The dead donor rule – the golden rule of transplant surgeons -- is that vital organs may be taken only from patients who are unequivocally dead. Death is determined by the cessation of brain activity (brain death) or by the irreversible cessation of circulation and respiration (cardiac death). more

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