Thursday, August 14, 2008

Re-Defining "Dead"?

As wonderful as organ donation is, this story about taking organs - specifically hearts - from infants less than 2 minutes after life support is turned off is certainly disturbing. Even more disturbing - this happened as part of a federally-funded study. James Burdick of the Department of Health and Human Services, which funded the study, has this to say: assertions that the babies were not dead [are] "fussy semantics" that do not "really make common sense." Hmmm.

"The whole area of organ donation relies on the public trusting physicians, in that they believe they won't murder them or commit homicide. They won't hasten their deaths," said Arthur L. Caplan, a University of Pennsylvania bioethicist. "We ought not underestimate public unease."


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