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Week 7 - DEATH & DYING

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Ryerson University
PHL 302
Meredith Schwartz

Week 7 DEATHDYINGDecember0111726 PMEuthanasia and suicide have been around for centuriesBeliefs and opinions vary within cultures beliefs religionsMany ethical problems relating to death and dying are new due to advances in medical technologyshould people be saved or should they all be forced to liveTechnology and the Meaning of DeathA major factor in the moral equation of death and dying concerns our increasing inability to determine when death has actually occurredDeath or dying in our hightech medical environment is less evident than a process that defies demarcation by a single point Rather than a single event death has become a series of small events each one amenable to further treatment and not one in itself being seen as the moment where treatment should be haltedDeath can no longer be seen as something that happens to one but rather it is now seen as something that is allowed to happen or not The doctor not nature is in chargeThe moral question becomes whos in chargeIf there is a human will controlling the technology why should it not be the will of the dying personWhen is a Person Dead Definitions of DeathThe invention of the mechanical respirator and organ transplantation changed the way people defined deathUp until 1960 it was defined as when the heart stopped beating and the lungs stopped workingThe whole brain formulation to define death in 1968This formulation means that a person can be declared dead when the functions of the entire brain including the brain stem have ceasedSome ethicists consider it unnecessary for the entire brain to be dead in order to consider the patient deadeg Higher brain death one is dead when there is a loss of higher brain fu
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