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Deconstructing the Brain Disconnection-Brain Death Analogy and Clarifying the Rationale for the Neurological Criterion of Death



Deconstructing the Brain Disconnection-Brain Death Analogy and Clarifying the Rationale for the Neurological Criterion of Death



Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 41(3): 279-299



This article explains the problems with Alan Shewmon's critique of brain death as a valid sign of human death, beginning with a critical examination of his analogy between brain death and severe spinal cord injury. The article then goes on to assess his broader argument against the necessity of the brain for adult human organismal integration, arguing that he fails to translate correctly from biological to metaphysical claims. Finally, on the basis of a deeper metaphysical analysis, I offer a revised rationale for the validity of the neurological criterion of human death.

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Accession: 057563772

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 27095749

DOI: 10.1093/jmp/jhw006


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