Date of Completion
Honors College Thesis
Type of Thesis
Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors
death, bioethics, medical ethics, brain death, organ procurement
A philosophical investigation into the definition of "death" and the best criterion for determining that "death" so defined has occurred. This thesis project looks into the three most prominent theories about the best criterion for death determination: the whole-brain criterion, the circulatory-respiratory criterion and the higher-brain criterion. Following a critical analysis of the arguments for and against each criterion and some accounting for special practical issues, especially the need for procurable organs, a recommendation is put forth for a two-pronged public policy that recognizes the important difference between a human being's biological death and the loss of that which is especially important about a human being's life.
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Palermo, Brittney Jean, "The Definition and Determination of Death" (2015). UVM Honors College Senior Theses. 59.