Death, Dying, and Organ Transplantation: Reconstructing Medical Ethics at the End of Life

Paperback | December 14, 2015

byFranklin G. Miller, Robert D. Truog

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In Death, Dying, and Organ Transplantation: Reconstructing Medical Ethics at the End of Life, Miller and Truog challenge fundamental doctrines of established medical ethics. They argue that the routine practice of stopping life support technology in hospitals causes the death of patients andthat donors of vital organs (hearts, lungs, liver, and both kidneys) are not really dead at the time that their organs are removed for life-saving transplantation. These practices are ethically legitimate but are not compatible with traditional rules of medical ethics that doctors must notintentionally cause the death of their patients and that vital organs can be obtained for transplantation only from dead donors. In this book Miller and Truog undertake an ethical examination that aims to honestly face the reality of medical practices at the end of life. They expose the misconception that stopping life support merely allows patients to die from their medical conditions, and they dispute the accuracy ofdetermining death of hospitalized patients on the basis of a diagnosis of "brain death" prior to vital organ donation. After detailing the factual and conceptual errors surrounding current practices of determining death for the purpose of organ donation, the authors develop a novel ethical accountof procuring vital organs. In the context of reasonable plans to withdraw life support, still-living patients are not harmed or wronged by organ donation prior to their death, provided that valid consent has been obtained for stopping treatment and for organ donation. Recognizing practical difficulties in facing the truth regarding organ donation, the authors also develop a pragmatic alternative account based on the concept of transparent legal fictions. In sum, Miller and Truog argue that in order to preserve the legitimacy of end-of-life practices, we need toreconstruct medical ethics.

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In Death, Dying, and Organ Transplantation: Reconstructing Medical Ethics at the End of Life, Miller and Truog challenge fundamental doctrines of established medical ethics. They argue that the routine practice of stopping life support technology in hospitals causes the death of patients andthat donors of vital organs (hearts, lungs, ...

Franklin G. Miller, Ph.D., is retired from the senior faculty in the Department of Bioethics, National Institutes of Health and currently Professor of Medical Ethics in Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Miller has published a book of his selected essays, The Ethical Challenges of Human Research, edited six books, and publi...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:December 14, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190460849

ISBN - 13:9780190460846

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Table of Contents

Preface1. Withdrawing Life-Sustaining Treatment: Allowing to Die or Causing Death?2. Active Euthanasia3. Death and the Brain4. Challenges to a Circulatory-Respiratory Criterion for Death5. Donation after Circulatory Determination of Death6. Vital Organ Donation without the Dead Donor Rule7. Legal Fictions Approach to Organ Donation8. Epilogue

Editorial Reviews

"Whether one agrees with Miller and Truog's viewpoints and proposals, there is no denying that this is a stimulating and thoroughly engaging book...although the book's focus is on issues at the end of life, it also carries implications for other areas over which the discourse of medical ethicscasts a critical eye. For that reason, it is likely to appeal to practitioners, teachers and students of medicine and medical ethics." --Kartina A. Choong, University of Central Lancashire, Medical Law Review