Monday, August 24, 2015

Do Not Leave Definition of Death Just to Doctors

Andy Ho lucidly explains how the definition of death is value-laden, synthesizing a lot of recent philosophical and medical literature.  The issue is more acute in Singapore, because organ donation is presumed and opt-out.  



"They make a value judgment when they say that the loss of personhood in brain death makes it really death. . . .  So what is a moral issue involving life and death has been surreptitiously changed into one about a biological fact to be discovered medically."




"[T]he current public policy permitting organ harvesting from the brain dead may be resting on shaky moral grounds. . . .  It deserves being reopened for debate by all.  It should not be left to doctors who have no particular expertise in philosophical endeavours." 



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