Smith argues that death caused by transplant surgery will not harm permanently unconscious patients, because they will not suffer a setback to their interests in the context of donation. Therefore, so the argument goes, the dead donor rule can be abandoned, because requiring a death declaration before procurement does not protect any relevant interest from being thwarted. Smith contends that a virtue of his argument is that it avoids the controversies over defining and determining death. I argue that it does not and explain why no change in policy is justified.
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Contributors AO is the sole author of this work.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.