It was mainly in view of two developments that, in 1968, an Ad Hoc Committee was formed at Harvard Medical School to examine the definition of death as involving “brain death” (, p. 337). On the one hand, “improvements in resuscitative and supportive measures have led to increased efforts to save those who are desperately injured.” At times, these efforts were only partially successful, with the result that an individual could be left with circulation and respiration (at times, but not always, artifically supported), but whose brain was irreversibly damaged. On the other hand, obsolete criteria for the diagnosis of death could lead to controversy in obtaining organs for transplantation, which had already become sufficiently developed to challenge those criteria.
KeywordsBrain Stem Brain Death Personal Identity High Brain Persistent Vegetative State
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 2.Bartlett, E. T. and Youngner, S. J.: 1988, ‘Does Anyone Survive Neocortical Death?’, this volume, pp. 199–215.Google Scholar
- 4.Capron, A. M.: 1988, ‘The Report of the President’s Commission on the Uniform Determination of Death Act’, this volume, pp. 147–169.Google Scholar
- 5.President’s Commission for the Study of.Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research: 1981, Defining Death: Medical, Legal, and Ethical Issues in the Determination of Death, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
- 6.Puccetti, R.: 1988, ‘Neocortical Definitions of Death and Philosophical Concepts of Persons’, this volume, pp. 75–90.Google Scholar
- 7.Veatch, R. M.: 1988, ‘Whole-Brain and Higher Brain Related Concepts of Death’, this volume, pp. 171–186.Google Scholar
- 8.Walton, D. N.: 1981, Brain Death: Ethical Considerations, Purdue University Press, West Lafayette, Indiana.Google Scholar
- 9.White, P.: 1988, ‘Should the Law Define Death?, this volume, pp. 101–109.Google Scholar
- 10.Zaner, R. M.: 1981, The Context of Self, Ohio University Press, Athens, Ohio.Google Scholar