- This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'Brain Death1' during my Thesis research, as from November 2014.
- For the actual time recorded, click on "Paper Summary" above.
Write-up2 (as at 13/06/2018 10:24:58): Brain Death
- Brain death is important in personal identity as it is often considered the point at which the animal – despite the best efforts of life-support systems – is “really” dead.
- There are different understandings of just when brain death occurs, and – indeed – on what it is. See, for example, the Wikipedia article (Brain Death) that correctly distinguishes brain death (total failure of the brainstem) from a PVS4.
- On the Brain View5 of Personal Identity, the death of the brain6 – consistently defined – is obviously the death of the person7 – that is if persons, qua persons, are the sort of thing that can die, as death is a biological event. Maybe more strictly, on the Brain View, brain death would be our death
- The same is probably true of Mark Johnston’s view that we are Human Beings8.
- Brain death is important ethically as it is used to decide when it is right to withdraw life support. It is said that the human being is already dead when the brain is dead. I don’t really want to get drawn into this ethical argument. I suspect that without the regulating power of the brain the organism is already dead, so – on the animalist9 view – we are therefore dead. We don’t therefore exist in this state, whereas in a PVS we do exist, but don’t have anything that matters10 to us.
- Topics related to this one include:-
→ Near Death Experiences12.
- For a page of Links13 to this Note, Click here.
- Works on this topic that I’ve actually read14, include15 the following:-
- "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - When Do Persons Begin and End?", Baker
- "Gert (Bernard), Lizza (John), Youngner (Stuart) & Chiong (Winston) - Matters of 'Life' and 'Death'", Gert Etc.
- "Green (Michael) & Wikler (Daniel) - Brain Death and Personal Identity", Green & Wikler, 1980
- "Lockwood (Michael) - When Does a Life Begin?", Lockwood
- "Mackie (David) - Personal Identity and Dead People", Mackie
- A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
- "Agich (George J.) & Jones (Royce P.) - Personal Identity and Brain Death: A Critical Response", Agich & Jones, 1986
- "Bernat (James L.) - A Defense of the Whole-Brain Concept of Death", Bernat, 1998
- "Campbell (Courtney S.) - A No-Brainer: Criticisms of Brain-Based Standards of Death", Campbell, 2001
- "Chiong (Winston) - Brain Death without Definitions", Chiong
- "Cranford (Ronald E.) - The Persistent Vegetative State: The Medical Reality (Getting the Facts Straight)", Cranford
- "Dagi (T. Forcht) & Kaufman (Rebecca) - Clarifying the Discussion on Brain Death", Dagi, 2001
- "DeGrazia (David) - Identity, What We Are, and the Definition of Death", DeGrazia
- "Hershenov (David) - Olson's Embryo Problem", Hershenov
- "Halevy (Amir) - Beyond Brain Death?", Halevy, 2001
- "Lizza (John) - Persons, Humanity, & the Definition of Death", Lizza
- "McMahan (Jeff) - Endings", McMahan
- "Morioka (Masahiro) - Brain Dead Person: Preface + TOC & Chapters 1, 2, 5 & 7", Morioka, 1989
- "Morioka (Masahiro) - Current Debate on the Ethical Issues of Brain Death", Morioka, 2004
- "Morioka (Masahiro) - Reconsidering Brain Death: A Lesson From Japan's Fifteen Years of Experience", Morioka, 2001
- "Piccinini (Gualtiero) & Bahar (Sonya) - No Mental Life after Brain Death: The Argument from the Neural Localization of Mental Functions", Piccini, 2015
- "Potts (Michael) - A Requiem for Whole Brain Death: A Response to D. Alan Shewmon's ‘The Brain and Somatic Integration’", Potts, 2001
- "Seifert (Josef) - Is 'Brain Death' Actually Death", Seifert, 1993
- "Shewmon (D. Alan) - The Brain and Somatic Integration: Insights Into the Standard Biological Rationale for Equating “Brain Death” With Death", Shewmon, 2001
- "Singer (Peter) - How Death was Redefined", Singer, 1994
- "Singer (Peter) - Dr. Shann’s Dilemma", Singer, 1994
- "Steineck (Christian) - Brain Death, Death, and Personal Identity", Steineck, 2003
- "Veatch (Robert M.) - The Death of Whole-Brain Death: The Plague of the Disaggregators, Somaticists, and Mentalists", Veatch, 2005
- "Veatch (Robert M.) - The Impending Collapse of the Whole-Brain Definition of Death", Veatch, 1993
- "Walker (A. Earl) - Cerebral Death", Walker, 1977
- This is mostly a place-holder16.
- This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (13/06/2018 10:24:58).
- Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
- A number of my philosophical Notes are “promissory notes” currently only listing the books and papers (if any) I possess on the topic concerned.
- I’ve decided to add some text – whether by way of motivation, or something more substantive – for all these identified topics related to my Thesis.
- As I want to do this fairly quickly, the text may be confused or show surprising ignorance.
- The reader (if such exists) will have to bear with me, and display the principle of charity while this footnote exists.
- If only a “non-updating” run has been made, the links are only one-way – ie. from the page of links to the objects that reference this Note by mentioning the appropriate key-word(s). The links are also only indicative, as they haven’t yet been confirmed as relevant.
- Once an updating run has been made, links are both ways, and links from this Notes page (from the “Authors, Books & Papers Citing this Note” and “Summary of Note Links to this Page” sections) are to the “point of link” within the page rather than to the page generically. Links from the “links page” remain generic.
- There are two sorts of updating runs – for Notes and other Objects. The reason for this is that Notes are archived, and too many archived versions would be created if this process were repeatedly run.
- Frequently I’ll have made copious marginal annotations, and sometimes have written up a review-note.
- In the former case, I intend to transfer the annotations into electronic form as soon as I can find the time.
- In the latter case, I will have remarked on the fact against the citation, and will integrate the comments into this Note in due course.
- My intention is to incorporate into these Notes comments on material I’ve already read rather than engage with unread material at this stage.
- I may have read others in between updates of this Note – in which case they will be marked as such in the “References and Reading List” below.
- Papers or Books partially read have a rough %age based on the time spent versus the time expected.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018