Total Death Should Be Over Time

2193 Words9 Pages
There have been many variations of what the definition of total death should be over time. Until the Harvard Medical Committee formed their definition in 1968 the common definition of death was that, once cessation of cardiovascular activity occurred, a person was considered dead. This was changed when the Harvard Medical Committee released their own definition, stating the adoption of the “irreversible coma” as being the new standard for determining end of life (Jonas, 132). Presently in the United States, the commonly accepted definition of death is formed under the Determination of Death Act which essentially states that “permanent cessation of the integrated functioning of the organism as a whole” (Morris, 55) and includes both cardiovascular function and brain function as the qualifiers for death. There are two positions present now that are laid out by Edmund Pellegrino in Controversies in the Determination of Death a White Paper of the President 's Council on Bioethics: Position One states that the current neurological standard is not biologically sound and should be redefined, and Position Two states that the neurological standard is biologically sound and should not be redefined (Pellegrino, 52-58). In this paper, I will argue that the neurological standard to determine whether a human being is dead should remain the primary method because it states that a human being needs to be working as a whole in order to be alive. This means that, for a person to be considered
Get Access