A Holistic Understanding of Death: Ontological and Medical Considerations

Doyen Nguyen

About author

Doyen Nguyen, M.D., S.T.D.
Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas
Rome, Italy

E-mail: btursiopsdn@gmail.com

Doyen Nguyen, M.D., S.T.D., is both a moral theologian
and a physician (specializing in hematopathology).

Abstract


In the ongoing ‘brain death’ controversy, there has been a constant push for the use of the ‘higher brain’ formulation as the criterion for the determination of death on the grounds that brain-dead individuals are no longer human beings because of their irreversible loss of consciousness and mental functions. This essay demonstrates that such a position flows from a Lockean view of human persons. Compared to the ‘consciousness-related definition of death,’ the substance view is superior, especially because it provides a holistic vision of the human person, and coheres with the perennial axiom about the ‘whole and parts.’

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References


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DOI:

http://dx.doi.org/10.13153/diam.1175

Article links:

Default URL: http://www.diametros.iphils.uj.edu.pl/index.php/diametros/article/view/1175
English abstract URL: http://www.diametros.iphils.uj.edu.pl/index.php/diametros/article/view/1175/en

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