Death before Dying: History, Medicine, and Brain Death

Hardcover | February 10, 2014

byGary Belkin

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Brain death - the condition of a non-functioning brain, has been widely adopted around the world as a definition of death since it was detailed in a Report by an Ad Hoc Committee of Harvard Medical School faculty in 1968. It also remains a focus of controversy and debate, an early source ofcriticism and scrutiny of the bioethics movement. Death before Dying: History, Medicine, and Brain Death looks at the work of the Committee in a way that has not been attempted before in terms of tracing back the context of its own sources - the reasoning of it Chair, Henry K Beecher, and the careof patients in coma and knowledge about coma and consciousness at the time. That history requires re-thinking the debate over brain death that followed which has tended to cast the Committee's work in ways this book questions. This book, then, also questions common assumptions about the place of bioethics in medicine. This book discusses if the advent of bioethics has distorted and limited the possibilities for harnessing medicine for social progress. It challenges historical scholarship of medicine to be more curiousabout how medical knowledge can work as a potentially innovative source of values.

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Brain death - the condition of a non-functioning brain, has been widely adopted around the world as a definition of death since it was detailed in a Report by an Ad Hoc Committee of Harvard Medical School faculty in 1968. It also remains a focus of controversy and debate, an early source ofcriticism and scrutiny of the bioethics moveme...

Gary S. Belkin, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., is Senior Director for Psychiatric Services at NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation, Office of Behavioral Health. He is also Associate Professor and Director, Program in Global Mental Health at NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY.

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Kobo ebook|Jun 1 2012

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:February 10, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199898170

ISBN - 13:9780199898176

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Table of Contents

1. Strange Business2. The Justification: Beecher's Ethics3. The Law4. The Criteria I: The Waking Brain - Brainstem and the Discourse of Consciousness5. The Criteria II: The Working Brain: The Comatose Patient and the Biology of Consciousness6. Brain Death After Beecher and the Limits of Bioethics