Advertisement

Topics

Brain Death: A Conclusion in Search of a Justification.

08:00 EDT 1st November 2018 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Brain Death: A Conclusion in Search of a Justification."

At its inception, "brain death" was proposed not as a coherent concept but as a useful one. The 1968 Ad Hoc Committee of the Harvard Medical School to Examine the Definition of Brain Death gave no reason that "irreversible coma" should be death itself, but simply asserted that the time had come for it to be declared so. Subsequent writings by chairman Henry Beecher made clear that, to him at least, death was essentially a social construct, and society could define it however it pleased. The first widely endorsed attempt at a philosophical justification appeared thirteen years later, with a report from the President's Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research and a seminal paper by James Bernat, Charles Culver, and Bernard Gert, which introduced the insightful tripartite scheme of concept, criterion, and tests for death. Their paper proposed that the correct concept of death is the "permanent cessation of functioning of the organism as a whole," which tenuously remains the mainstream concept to this day. In this essay, I focus on this mainstream concept, arguing that equating brain death with death involves several levels of incoherence: between concept and criterion, between criterion and tests, between tests and concept, and between all of these and actual brain death praxis.

Affiliation

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: The Hastings Center report
ISSN: 1552-146X
Pages: S22-S25

Links

DeepDyve research library

PubMed Articles [15048 Associated PubMed Articles listed on BioPortfolio]

A Conceptual Justification for Brain Death.

Among the old and new controversies over brain death, none is more fundamental than whether brain death is equivalent to the biological phenomenon of human death. Here, I defend this equivalency by of...

Rethinking Brain Death as a Legal Fiction: Is the Terminology the Problem?

Brain death, or the determination of death by neurological criteria, has been described as a legal fiction. Legal fictions are devices by which the law treats two analogous things (in this case, biolo...

Brain Death and the Law: Hard Cases and Legal Challenges.

The determination of death by neurological criteria-"brain death"-has long been legally established as death in all U.S. jurisdictions. Moreover, the consequences of determining brain death have been ...

The future of system justification theory.

In this article, we respond to commentaries by Friesen et al. (2018, Br. J. Soc. Psychol.), Osborne et al. (2018, Br. J. Soc. Psychol.), and Owuamalam et al. (2018, Br. J. Soc. Psychol.) on the occ...

Brain stem death - an overview.

The concept of brain death has been a very intriguing topic and has taken many forms over the years. Brain stem death is a complex state of inactivity defined by the loss of reflexes of the pathways t...

Clinical Trials [6473 Associated Clinical Trials listed on BioPortfolio]

Neurophysiological Examination in Patients With Brain Death

This study examines muscle movements of elecromyography in adults with brain death. Half of the participants will have brain death, the other half will be healthy volunteers.

Rapid Reversal of CNS-Depressant Drug Effect Prior to Brain Death Determination

Current standard of care prior to determination of brain death in subjects with suspected anoxic brain injury is to exclude complicating medical conditions that may confound clinical asses...

Transcranial Doppler Ultrasonography and Brain Death

In France the diagnosis of brain death relies on electroencephalography (EEG) or cerebral angiography. Concerning the latter a time of 6 hours is mandatory between the clinical diagnosis a...

Extern Validation of a Predictive Score of Brain Death in Severe Stroke (DIAPASON1)

There is currently a shortage of organ in France, for patients with chronic diseases who are on the waiting list for an organ. The first source of organ donor in France is patients with br...

Brain Death: Inflammatory Response, Apoptosis, and Endotoxin Tolerance

We hypothesized that brain death is associated with an early systemic inflammatory response, possibly combined with activation of apoptotic cell death, two events that may contribute to in...

Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A state of prolonged irreversible cessation of all brain activity, including lower brain stem function with the complete absence of voluntary movements, responses to stimuli, brain stem reflexes, and spontaneous respirations. Reversible conditions which mimic this clinical state (e.g., sedative overdose, hypothermia, etc.) are excluded prior to making the determination of brain death. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp348-9)

A reduction in brain oxygen supply due to ANOXEMIA (a reduced amount of oxygen being carried in the blood by HEMOGLOBIN), or to a restriction of the blood supply to the brain, or both. Severe hypoxia is referred to as anoxia, and is a relatively common cause of injury to the central nervous system. Prolonged brain anoxia may lead to BRAIN DEATH or a PERSISTENT VEGETATIVE STATE. Histologically, this condition is characterized by neuronal loss which is most prominent in the HIPPOCAMPUS; GLOBUS PALLIDUS; CEREBELLUM; and inferior olives.

A conserved protein interaction domain of the death domain superfamily that is structurally similar to the DEATH EFFECTOR DOMAIN and CASPASE RECRUITMENT DOMAIN. Death domains bind each other to form oligomers and occur on DEATH DOMAIN RECEPTORS, where they are required for APOPTOSIS signaling and non-apoptotic functions.

The death of a FETUS of GESTATIONAL AGE 28 weeks or more, or the death of a live-born INFANT less than 28 days of age.

A homotypic protein interaction module of the death domain superfamily that is composed of a bundle of six alpha-helices. The death effector domain shares sequence and structural similarities with the DEATH DOMAIN and CASPASE RECRUITMENT DOMAIN. It occurs in many proteins with essential functions in APOPTOSIS.

Advertisement
Quick Search
Advertisement
Advertisement

 


DeepDyve research library

Searches Linking to this Article