Biological Moment Of Death Essay

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Register to read the introduction… Whereas we once could pronounce death based on the rapid succession of an inevitably linked series of bodily events--heart stoppage, cessation of respiration and brain death--technology has made possible the separation of these "death events". Our capacity to prolong the dying process and separate death events has been matched by an increasing usefulness of human organs for transplantation, making the definition of death critical for donors and recipients.

Medically, Wisconsin's protocols are hard to dispute. Anything that puts donor organs in better shape for transplantation makes sense to the transplanters and to the recipients. Regitine widens blood vessels, improving oxygenation and slowing organ degeneration. Speed and precise timing are important to the success of transplant surgery, and, because Regitine adds hours to an organ's "shelf-life," it saves lives.

Regitine also makes NHBD donation possible, increasing the supply of organs available for transplant. Although the number of people who die in the US under circumstances that leave their organs viable for
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As Dr. Arthur Caplan, the director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania puts it, "there's a real danger here. If you scare people about fuzzing the line between life and death, if you frighten people into thinking that doctors kill patients to obtain organs, you devastate the system. The whole system depends on altruism and altruism depends on clear standards that everyone agrees to."9 That Regitine allows medical professionals to push this envelope has caused some physicians and public policy leaders to oppose its

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