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Defining Death
Author: Robert M. Veatch

ISBN: 9781626163553
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 168
Published: 18 September 2016
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 14.0 x 1.0
Description:


New technologies and medical treatments have complicated questions such as how to determine the moment when someone has died. The result is a failure to establish consensus on the definition of death and the criteria by which the moment of death is determined. This creates confusion and disagreement not only among medical, legal, and insurance professionals but also within families faced with difficult decisions concerning their loved ones.

Distinguished bioethicists Robert M. Veatch and Lainie F. Ross argue that the definition of death is not a scientific question but a social one rooted in religious, philosophical, or social beliefs. Drawing on history and recent court cases, the authors detail three potential definitions of death--the whole-brain concept; the circulatory, or somatic, concept; and the higher-brain concept. Because no one definition of death commands majority support, it creates a major public policy problem. The authors cede that society needs a default definition to proceed in certain cases, like those involving organ transplantation. But they also argue the decision-making process must give individuals the space to choose amo...

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