Buddhism, Brain Death, and Organ Transplantation

By Damien Keown.

This article raises concerns about the degree to which potential donors are aware that their layman’s understanding of death may not be the same as that enshrined in protocols employing the cri-terion of brain death. There would seem to be a need for greater public education of a kind which acknowledges the debate around the practical and conceptual difficulties associated with brain death, and makes clear what the implications of a diagnosis of brain death are for the donor and his or her relatives. The re-mainder of the article explores the discrepancy between the modern concept of brain death and the traditional Buddhist un-derstanding of death as the loss of the body’s organic integrity as opposed to simply the loss of its cerebral functions.

Link (PDF)

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