Brain Death Controversies
A. Capron (2001) argues that, after more than 30 years, the issue of brain death is well settled yet unresolved.
B. Serious controversies over the defining of death began with the invention of the positive-pressure mechanical ventilator in the 1950 (Bernat, 2006).
II. Personal definition of brain death
A. Personal opinion regarding criteria for brain death
1. The patient’s brain has irreversible cessation of all functions combined with the loss of capacity to breath
B. Personal experience
1. A close family friend lost his life during a surgery from insufficient oxygen supply to the brain, was later diagnose as having brain death.
III. Statements that I agree with
A. Criteria for brain death in the United Kingdom (UK)
1. Brain stem death is the irreversible loss of the capacity for consciousness and the irreversible loss of the capacity to breathe (Elliot, 2003).
B. Criteria for brain death in the United States and Europe
1. Whole brain death is complete unresponsiveness to external stimuli including the absence of brainstem reflexes, the absence of tendon reflexes and apnea (Elliot, 2003).
IV. Statements that I disagree with
A. Pathologist Dr. Keith Simpson
1. Professor Keith Simpson stated “there is still life so long as a circulation of oxygenated blood is being maintained to live vital (brainstem) centres” (Elliot, 2003, p. 24).
2. Vital life is determined by circulation of oxygenated blood (Elliot, 2003, p. 24).
3. Critics have attacked the concept and practice of brain death as being a conceptually invalid violation of religious beliefs (Bernat, 2006).
4. Japan’s controversy over whether to accept brain death as legal criteria for determining the death of a person (Feldman, 2001).
B. Refuting disagreed arguments
1. Studies have shown that the definition for death should be regarded as an irreversible loss of the capacity for consciousness, combined with irreversible loss of the capacity to...