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Death and legal fictions
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  • Published on:
    Diagnosing Death - practical vs. philosophical
    • Daniel JR Harvey, Consultant, Intensive Care Medicine
    • Other Contributors:
      • Dale Gardiner

    Dear Editor,

    Recent attacks on the medical criteria for diagnosing death have, in our opinion, reached such a degree of sophistry that the debate is in danger of becoming irrelevant to doctors and patients alike1 2 .Doctors have a job to do, to diagnose the dead.

    Dying is a process, decay effects different functions and cells of the body at different rates. Doctors must decide at what moment along this pr...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    Death and legal fictions

    Shah, Truog and Miller(1) argue that current death determination practice for organ procurement purposes does not conform to a scientifically coherent understanding of death and that vital organs are being taken from still-living donors. This has been known to those who read the medical and scientific literature for some time but, as they say, the public has not been informed. Fearing that this information cannot be hidd...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.