Higher Brain Death – Gravestones of Schiavo and Cruzan

I just finished the second edition of Veatch and Ross’s excellent Transplantation Ethics (Georgetown 2015).  The first several chapters review competing definitions of death.  Among other arguments, the authors defend a higher brain standard, an argument that has not had much currency the past decade.  

This reminded me of the gravestones of Nancy Cruzan and Theresa Schiavo.  Both indicate that the women “died” as of the point they permanently lost consciousness, not the later point in time that they has complete cessation of cardiopulmonary function.

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