Divergent Views of Human Death Underlying Controversies over Organ Transplantation
柴嵜, 雅子 ,
シバサキ, マサコMasako, Shibasaki
国際研究論叢 : 大阪国際大学紀要 = OIU journal of international studies
95 , 2015-10-31
As the title of the white paper released by the President’s Council of Bioethics in 2008 illustrates, controversies in the determination of death have been rather intensified than settled. They are rooted in divergent views of when human life ends, which this paper aims to clarify. Some opponents of neurological death claim that it should be nevertheless allowed to procure vital organs from brain dead patients because they are alive as an organism but dead as a human being. This argument is based on the mind-body dualism that regards only mind as the essence of being human. Discounting such Cartesian and individualistic paradigm, others maintain that cessation of brain function alone does not constitutes the death of a person because we are inseparably integrated mind-body units. From this perspective, harvesting organs means hurting humans even after their cardiac death.