Clearly distinguishing between the living and the dead is an essential function in any society, necessary for determining when people may be buried, when their wills may be executed, when efforts to keep them alive may be terminated, and when they may donate their organs, among other issues. The recent and ongoing case of Jahi McMath has raised some doubts about how this distinction is made in the United States.
Read the full Viewpoint article here.
Robert Truog, MD, is the Frances Glessner Lee Professor of Medical Ethics, Anaesthesiology & Pediatrics and Director of the Center for Bioethics at Harvard Medical School.
The Center for Bioethics is hosting a public bioethics forum on the Jahi McMath case on Wednesday, April 11, and its annual bioethics conference will explore the concept of brain death and its impact on organ donation. Join the "Recorded Events" email list to recieve video content of the event.