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.
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.
Join the "Recorded Events" email list to recieve video content from the April 2018 public bioethics forum "Brain Death and the Conterversial Case of Jahi McMath."