Document Detail


Potentiality, irreversibility, and death.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15814367     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
There has been growing concern about whether individuals who satisfy neurological criteria for death or who become non-heart-beating organ donors are really dead. This concern has focused on the issue of the potential for recovery that these individuals may still have and whether their conditions are irreversible. In this article I examine the concepts of potentiality and irreversibility that have been invoked in the discussions of the definition of death and non-heart-beating organ donation. I initially focus on the recent challenge by D. Alan Shewmon to accepting any neurological criterion of death. I argue that Shewmon relies on a problematic and unrealistic concept of potentiality, and that a better, more realistic concept of potentiality is consistent with accepting a neurological criterion for death. I then turn to an analysis of how the concept of irreversibility has been used in discussion of non-heart-beating organ donation. Similarly, I argue that some participants in this discussion have invoked a problematic and unrealistic concept of irreversibility. I then propose an alternative, more realistic account of irreversibility that explains how "irreversibility" should be understood in the definition and criteria of death.
Authors:
John P Lizza
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of medicine and philosophy     Volume:  30     ISSN:  0360-5310     ISO Abbreviation:  J Med Philos     Publication Date:  2005 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-04-07     Completed Date:  2005-07-22     Revised Date:  2007-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7610512     Medline TA:  J Med Philos     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  45-64     Citation Subset:  E; IM    
Affiliation:
Department of Philosophy, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, Kutztown, PA 19530, USA. lizza@kutztown.edu
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Brain Death / diagnosis*
Humans
Terminology as Topic
Tissue and Organ Harvesting / ethics*
Tissue and Organ Procurement / ethics*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine


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