Academic journal article Issues in Law & Medicine

Organ Donation without Brain Death?

Academic journal article Issues in Law & Medicine

Organ Donation without Brain Death?

Article excerpt

HASTINGS CENTER REP., Nov.-Dec. 2005, at 3.

Winston Chiong joins the long list of scholars who have argued that the current justifications for whole brain death are incoherent. But Chiong recommends "brain death without definitions" at a solution. To put his argument in perspective, it is important to remember that the only reason a concept of brain death is needed at all is to facilitate the recovery of organs for transplantation. In other words, if we could consider "organ donation without brain death," we could obviate the need to find ever more creative ways of supporting this beleaguered concept.

Brain death is needed, the argument goes, so we can conform to the so-called "dead donor rule," which is an implicit assumption that vital organs should never be removed from patients before they have been declared dead. If a physician removed a vital organ from a patient before the patient was declared dead, then the physician would be guilty of homicide. …

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