Evolution of the Criteria of “Brain Death”: A Critical Analysis Based on Scientific Realism and Christian Anthropology
“Brain death” (understood in the sense of “whole brain death” and not in the sense of “brainstem death”) was introduced into clinical practice in 1968 when the Harvard Ad Hoc Committee defined irreversible coma as a new criterion for death (understood in the full sense of the word).
You only die once: why brain death is not the death of a human being
[My argument] has revealed the total absence of any compelling philosophical or scientific reason to interpret brain-mediated somatic integration as constitutive of the human organism; all the evidence is compatible with, indeed, positively suggests, the conclusion that brainmediated somatic integration maintains the organism’s health or promotes its survival, but does not constitute it as a living whole in the first place.
Brain Death or Brain dying
For the past 50 years, the medical profession has understood ‘‘brain death’’ to represent the endpoint of a neuropathologic vicious cycle. An initial major brain injury sets off a mutually exacerbating cascade of cerebral edema, increased intracranial pressure, and decreased cerebral blood flow, which advances beyond some point-of-no-return to a state of no cerebral blood flow and total brain infarction (death of the brain, or ‘‘brain death’’).
The controversy concerning mechanisms of action of post coital pills
In December 2012, an allegedly raped woman was refused admission by two Catholic hospitals in Cologne. This lead to a public discussion about the availability of the Morning-After Pill (MAP). The consequence was the approval of the MAP in case of rape by Cardinal Meisner who consulted particular expert organisations of gynaecologists. They stated that the MAP only inhibits ovulation. In this case, they referred to the pill ellaOne. (on the market since 2009) which contains Ulipristal Acetate (UPA) and would replace the Morning-After Pill with LNG.
Verfügungsmasse Mensch? Lebensanfang und Lebensende im Licht der christlichen Ethik
So weit wir die Geschichte kennen, hat es immer Menschenbilder gegeben, mit deren Hilfe die Menschen sich in der Welt orientierten. Allerdings gilt es als besonderes Kennzeichen der Neuzeit, dass unser Zeitalter das erste ist, „in welchem der Mensch sich völlig und rückhaltlos problematisch geworden ist, in dem er nicht mehr weiß, wer er ist und zugleich an seiner eigenen schmerzhaften Unkenntlichkeit leidet
Pastoral letter on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the encyclical Humanae vitae
A holistic understanding of death
In the ongoing ‘brain death’ controversy, there has been a constant push for the use of the ‘higher brain’ formulation as the criterion for the determination of death on the grounds that brain-dead individuals are no longer human beings because of their irreversible loss of consciousness and mental functions. This essay demonstrates that such a position flows from a Lockean view of human persons. Compared to the ‘consciousness-related definition of death,’ the substance view is superior, especially because it provides a holistic vision of the human person, and coheres with the perennial axiom about the ‘whole and parts.’
Pope John Paul II and the neurological standard for the determination of death
The concept of “brain death” (the neurological basis for legally declaring a person dead) has caused much controversy since its inception. In this regard, it has been generally perceived that the Catholic Church has officially affirmed the “brain death” criterion. The address of Pope >>John Paul II in 2000 shows, however, that he only gave it a conditional acceptance, one which requires that several medical and philosophical presuppositions of the “brain death” standard be fulfilled. This article demonstrates, taking into consideration both the empirical evidence and the Church’s Thomistic anthropology, that the presuppositions have not been fulfilled.
Brain death and true patient care
Though legally accepted and widely practiced, the “brain death” standard for the determination of death has remained a controversial issue, especially in view of the occurrence of “chronic brain death” survivors. This paper critically re-evaluates the clinical test-criteria for “brain death,” taking into account what is known about the neuro-critical care of severe brain injury. The medical evidence, together with the understanding of the moral role of the physician toward the patient present before him or her, indicate that an alternative approach should be offered to the deeply comatose patient.