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Against abandoning the dead donor rule: reply to Smith


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.

  • Death
  • Transplantation
  • Ethics
  • Euthanasia

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