Death: The Loss of Life-Constitutive Integration

Doyen Nguyen

About author

Doyen Nguyen, M.D., S.T.D.
Pontifi cal University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) Theology
1 Largo Angelicum
00184 Rome, Italy



This discussion note aims to address the two points which Lizza raises regarding my critique of his paper “Defi ning Death: Beyond Biology,” namely that I mistakenly attribute a Lockean view to his ‘higher brain death’ position and that, with respect to the ‘brain death’ controversy, both the notions of the organism as a whole and somatic integration are unclear and vague. First, it is known from the writings of constitutionalist scholars that the constitution view of human persons, a theory which Lizza also holds, has its roots in John Locke’s thought. Second, contrary to Lizza’s claims, the notions of the organism as a whole and somatic integration are both more than adequately described in the biomedical and biophilosophical literature.

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