Defining Death snd Ethical Issues of Forgoing/Withdrawing Treatment

Defining Death snd Ethical Issues of Forgoing/Withdrawing Treatment Essay example
High school
Religion and Theology
Pages 3 (753 words)
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(Name) (Course) (Date) Defining Death and Ethical Issues of Forgoing/Withdrawing Treatment Following phrase interested me the most and made me think: “When a respirator is breathing for an individual, in what sense, if any, can that person be said to be alive?


If a person is in coma or vegetative state and is supported by artificial respirator, there are two questions that arise: 1. Is the person dead or alive 2. Should we forgo or withdraw treatment In order to answer the first question, we need to define death accurately. In the book, the author has discussed four different approaches to defining death but the one that I believe is most accurate is the one by The President’s Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioural Research: “An individual who has sustained either (1) irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory function, or (2) irreversible cessation of all function of the entire brain, including the brain stem, is dead.” This definition combines two different approaches of cardio-pulmonary death and brain death. The author does not draw strong conclusions, instead lives it to the reader to ponder upon the topic. I believe that this definition must be used universally to define death. It accurately defines death as the presence of either one of the conditions will mean that the body is not functioning naturally and hence the person must be declared dead. The second dilemma, one with greater ethical implications, is whether to continue or withdraw treatment when clear judgement of death is not possible. ...
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