Document Detail

The dead donor rule: lessons from linguistics?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15497227     Owner:  KIE     Status:  MEDLINE    
American society traditionally has assumed a univocal notion of "death," largely because we have only one word for it and, until recently, have not needed a more nuanced notion. The reality of death-processes does not preclude the reality of death events. Linguistically, "death" can be understood only as an event; there are other words for the process. Our death vocabulary should expand to reflect multiple events along the process from sickness to decomposition. Depending on context, some death-related events may constitute a more obvious discontinuity than others and more justifiably may be considered "death" within that context. There is no reason to assume a priori that there must be an overarching, unitary concept of death from which all diagnostic criteria must derive. Regarding organ transplantation, the relevant question is not "Is the patient dead?" but rather "Can organs X, Y, Z ... be removed without causing or hastening death or harming the patient?"
D Alan Shewmon
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Kennedy Institute of Ethics journal     Volume:  14     ISSN:  1054-6863     ISO Abbreviation:  Kennedy Inst Ethics J     Publication Date:  2004 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-10-21     Completed Date:  2004-10-26     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9109135     Medline TA:  Kennedy Inst Ethics J     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  277-300     Citation Subset:  E    
Dave Geffen Medical School, UCLA, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Attitude to Death
Brain Death
Double Effect Principle
Heart Arrest
Homicide / ethics
Living Donors*
Public Opinion
Public Policy
Terminally Ill*
Terminology as Topic*
Third-Party Consent
Tissue Donors*
Tissue and Organ Harvesting / ethics*
Tissue and Organ Procurement / ethics*
Ventilators, Mechanical

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

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