Reconsidering Brain Death: A Lesson From Japan's Fifteen Years of Experience
Morioka (Masahiro)
Source: Hastings Center Report 31, no.4 (2001): 41-46
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. Japan has been holding a nationwide debate over the nature of death for nearly twenty years.
  2. That debate led eventually to a law that gives citizens the opportunity to choose which of two views of death will apply to their own death.
  3. That law is now up for revision, and the debate is revving up.

Philosophers Index Abstract
  1. The Japanese Transplantation1 Law is unique among others in that it allows us to choose between "brain death2" and "traditional death" as our death.
  2. In every country 20 to 40 % of the population doubts the idea of brain death3.
  3. This paper reconsiders the concept, and reports the ongoing revision process of the current law.


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