Cover image for The definition of death : contemporary controversies
The definition of death : contemporary controversies
Youngner, Stuart J.
Publication Information:
Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xx, 346 pages ; 24 cm
Ch. 1. Brain death in cultural context: the reconstruction of death, 1967-1981-- Ch. 2. Clinical standards and technological confirmatory tests in diagnosing brain death-- Ch. 3. How much of the brain must be dead?-- Ch. 4. Refinements in the definition and criterion of death-- Ch. 5. On the brainstem criterion of death-- Ch. 6. The persisting perplexities in the determination of death-- Ch. 7. The bifurcated legal standard for determining death: does it work?-- Ch. 8. The conscience clause: how much individual choice in defining death can our society tolerate?

Ch. 9. The unimportance of death-- Ch. 10. American attitudes and beliefs about brain death: the empirical literature-- Ch. 11. Fundamentals of life and death: Christian fundamentalism and medical science-- Ch. 12. The definition of death in Jewish law-- Ch. 13. Brain death, ethics, and politics in Denmark-- Ch. 14. The problem of brain death: Japanese disputes about bodies and modernity-- Ch. 15. Defining death in Germany: brain death and its discontents-- Ch. 16. Dusk, dawn, and defining death: legal classifications and biological categories

Ch. 17. The role of the public in public policy on the definition of death-- Ch. 18. Death in a technological and pluralistic culture-- Ch. 19. Redefining death: the mirage of consensus-- Ch. 20. Where do we go from here?
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RA1063 .D44 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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The Definition of Death: Contemporary Controversies is the first comprehensive review of the clinical, philosophical, and public policy implications of our effort to redefine the change in status from living person to corpse. It is the result of a collaboration among internationally recognized scholars from the fields of medicine, philosophy, social science, law, and religious studies. Throughout, the contributors struggle to reconcile inconsistencies and gaps in our traditional understanding of death and to respond to the public's concern that, in the determination of death under current policies, patients' interests may be compromised by the demand for organ retrieval.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

In the early 1980s a new definition of death was adopted throughout the US. This definition allowed that even if respiration and heartbeat were sustained by technology, a person could be declared dead if all brain functions were irretrievably lost. Since this definition was established, advances in neuroscience, changes in organ-retrieval policy, and clinical experience have provoked new concerns and controversies about the determination of death. This new book provides a comprehensive and balanced debate about the clinical, scientific, sociocultural, ethical, and public policy issues surrounding the definition and determination of death. In seven sections, each examining a different aspect of the problem of defining death, there is thought-provoking discussion presented by scholars in medicine, neuroscience, philosophy, anthropology, law, and religious studies. The book's strength lies not only in the balanced academic discussion but also in the consideration given for public policy implications throughout. Discussed are issues such as the concern that, in the determination of death under current policies, patients' interests may be compromised by the demand for organ retrieval. This volume is representative of current issues surrounding the declaration of human death and will be valuable to students, scholars, and practitioners alike. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals. M. M. Slusser Wilkes University

Table of Contents

Martin S. PernickFred PlumBaruch A. BrodyJames L. BernatChris PallisJoanne Lynn and Ronald CranfordAlexander Morgan CapronRobert M. VeatchNorman FostLaura A. Siminoff and Alexia BlochCourtney S. CampbellFred RosnerBo Andreassen RixMargaret LockBettina Schone-SeifertR. Alta CharoDan W. BrockSteven MilesH. Tristram Engelhardt Jr.Robert A. Burt
Acknowledgmentsp. xii
Introductionp. xiii
List of Contributorsp. xviii
I The Historical and Clinical Frameworkp. 1
1 Brain Death in a Cultural Context: The Reconstruction of Death, 1967-1981p. 3
2 Clinical Standards and Technological Confirmatory Tests in Diagnosing Brain Deathp. 34
II The Interface between Philosophy and the Clinicp. 67
3 How Much of the Brain Must Be Dead?p. 71
4 Refinements in the Definition and Criterion of Deathp. 83
5 On the Brainstem Criterion of Deathp. 93
6 The Persisting Perplexities in the Determination of Deathp. 101
III Revisiting Statutes on Brain Deathp. 115
7 The Bifurcated Legal Standard for Determining Death: Does It Work?p. 117
8 The Conscience Clause: How Much Individual Choice in Defining Death Can Our Society Tolerate?p. 137
9 The Unimportance of Deathp. 161
IV Public Attitudes about Brain Death in the United Statesp. 179
10 American Attitudes and Beliefs about Brain Death: The Empirical Literaturep. 183
11 Fundamentals of Life and Death: Christian Fundamentalism and Medical Sciencep. 194
12 The Definition of Death in Jewish Lawp. 210
V International Perspectivesp. 223
13 Brain Death, Ethics, and Politics in Denmarkp. 227
14 The Problem of Brain Death: Japanese Disputes about Bodies and Modernityp. 239
15 Defining Death in Germany: Brain Death and Its Discontentsp. 257
VI Public Policy Considerationsp. 273
16 Dusk, Dawn, and Defining Death: Legal Classifications and Biological Categoriesp. 277
17 The Role of the Public in Public Policy on the Definition of Deathp. 293
VII The Future of Deathp. 309
18 Death in a Technological and Pluralistic Culturep. 311
19 Redefining Death: The Mirage of Consensusp. 319
20 Where Do We Go from Here?p. 332
Indexp. 341