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Redefinition and determination of death


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Redefinition and determination of death

  1. 1. REDEFINITION ANDDETERMINATION OF DEATHMevelle L. AsuncionCollege of NursingCentral Mindanao University
  2. 2. Why is there a need to redefine death?• To determine the exact point in time when a person is dead ▫ There is widespread and increasing use of new devices for prolonging life  Artificial respirator  Electronic pacemakers  Intravenous injection  Feeding machines
  3. 3. Reason why some would not attachthe dying person to life-maintainingdevices?• To avoid paying the numerous expenses• To eliminate the suffering of the dying individual• To be able to use this life-support machines for patients who have better chances of survival
  4. 4. Are we prolonging life or prolongingthe dying process?
  5. 5. Why is there a need to redefine death?• There is a great demand for cadaver organs for transplantation. ▫ Eyes ▫ Heart ▫ Kidneys ▫ Bone marrow
  6. 6. Definitions of Death1. Physiological definition2. Religious/ philosophical definition3. Brain death definition4. Cellular definition
  7. 7. PHYSIOLOGICAL DEFINITION• When the heart stops beating.• Traditional definition
  8. 8. RELIGIOUS/PHILOSOPHICAL• Separation of soul and body• Soul is viewed as the principle of life• How do we know that the soul has separated from the body?• when the person stops breathing and the heart stop beating
  9. 9. BRAIN DEATH DEFINITION• Condition in which the brain is completely destroyed• Use of EEG• Use of ECG• Absence of receptivity, responsiveness and absence of movement or breathing and absence of reflexes
  10. 10. CELLULAR DEFINITION• Disintegration and breakdown of the metabolic processes of the body’s substance.• Cellular level
  11. 11. Medical Context• Brain death definition• Organs can be harvested• Blood circulation may be artificially maintained after brain death.• Informed consent ▫ From the donor ▫ From the relatives
  12. 12. ATTITUDES TOWARDS DEATH• Cognitive ▫ Acceptance or denial• Affective ▫ Depression ▫ Sense of loss ▫ fear• Behavioral ▫ Anger ▫ Irritability ▫ Bargaining ▫ Resentment ▫ fear
  13. 13. SEVERAL VIEW OF DEATH• NIKOLAI BERDAEV ▫ Only death can give meaning to life ▫ Death is an intermission number between the present and the hereafter.• EPICURUS ▫ We should not fear death but be happy about death• MARTIN HEIDEGGER ▫ Views death as the completion of life, for unless and until one dies, one’s life is not yet complete. ▫ Death is an equalizer of men
  14. 14. APPLICATION OF ETHICAL THEORIES• NATURAL LAW ▫ Part of nature ▫ When all vital functions of the brain completely disappear or stop, extraordinary medical measures may not be necessary, but in fact, USELESS.• UTILITARIAN PRINCIPLE ▫ Detached the dying patient from all life- supporting machines ▫ Donations of harvested organs from brain dead individuals