Table of Contents

Ch. 1. Brain death in cultural context: the reconstruction of death, 1967-1981-- Ch. 2. Clinical standards and technological confirmatory tests in diagnosing brain death-- Ch. 3. How much of the brain must be dead?-- Ch. 4. Refinements in the definition and criterion of death-- Ch. 5. On the brainstem criterion of death-- Ch. 6. The persisting perplexities in the determination of death-- Ch. 7. The bifurcated legal standard for determining death: does it work?-- Ch. 8. The conscience clause: how much individual choice in defining death can our society tolerate? Ch. 17. The role of the public in public policy on the definition of death-- Ch. 18. Death in a technological and pluralistic culture-- Ch. 19. Redefining death: the mirage of consensus-- Ch. 20. Where do we go from here? Ch. 9. The unimportance of death-- Ch. 10. American attitudes and beliefs about brain death: the empirical literature-- Ch. 11. Fundamentals of life and death: Christian fundamentalism and medical science-- Ch. 12. The definition of death in Jewish law-- Ch. 13. Brain death, ethics, and politics in Denmark-- Ch. 14. The problem of brain death: Japanese disputes about bodies and modernity-- Ch. 15. Defining death in Germany: brain death and its discontents-- Ch. 16. Dusk, dawn, and defining death: legal classifications and biological categories. "In the 1980s, following the recommendation of a presidential commission, all fifty states replaced previous cardiopulmonary definitions of death with one that also included total and irreversible cessation of brain function." "The Definition of Death: Contemporary Controversies is the first comprehensive review of the clinical, philosophical, and public policy implications of our effort to redefine the change in status from living person to corpse. Edited by Stuart J. Youngner, Robert M. Arnold, and Renie Schapiro, the book is the result of a collaboration among internationally recognized scholars from the fields of medicine, philosophy, social science, law, and religious studies. Throughout, the contributors struggle to reconcile inconsistencies and gaps in our traditional understanding of death and to respond to the public's concern that, in the determination of death under current policies, patients' interests may be compromised by the demand for organ retrieval. Their questions about the philosophical and scientific bases for determining death lead, inevitably, to more profound questions of social policy. Acknowledging that the definition of death is as much a social construct as a scientific one, the authors, in their analysis of these issues, provide a comprehensive and provocative source of information for students and scholars alike."--Jacket.