Brain-Death Arguments Upon Brain-Death Technology a Very Term Paper
- Length: 4 pages
- Sources: 1
- Subject: Death and Dying (general)
- Type: Term Paper
- Paper: #35786609
Excerpt from Term Paper :
Arguments upon brain-death
Technology, a very familiar phenomenon of modern world, is continuously enhancing its ways towards comforts and luxuries. New thoughts and ideas are coming with every passing second, and what started as only a blurred vision; now became a necessity for all mankind and the entire society is involved in these technological reforms. The main notion behind creating & inventing all such equipments was to actually make the living better and easier than the past, & more importantly these all are less time consuming. Along with other technological advancements, medical science has been evolved from typical classical approaches towards a better and more scientific means of equipments and descriptions. Treatments of severe diseases like cancer and tumors is possible today and thus many lives can be saved by new emerging technology. Another main contribution of medical technology towards the betterment of mankind is of transplantation of organs, i.e., replacing one's spoiled or non-functional organ with some other's healthy organ, after the death of the donator. In the past, the kidney transplant was very common as it can be taken from an alive and healthy person and can be adjusted to someone in the need. But the donations of organs like heart, lungs, liver or any other such major organ, without which one cannot survive at all, is being the point of discussion since the process has started, rather since the term "brain death" has arrived.
The term "brain death" is used when all the voluntary and involuntary activities become ceased and there is no chance of the processes to be reversed towards life again. Usually the brain gets dead due to severe traumatic conditions, hemorrhages and loss of connections with other systems of the body. In many cases, the supply of oxygen to the brain is terminated and the brain death occurs. Traditionally, a person's death was determined by loss of breath or heartbeat, and the person with no heartbeat and respiration would be declared dead immediately. With the technological advancements and particularly with the invention of life support equipments like ventilators, artificial respirators etc., there developed a need to define death in new and modern terms. During the last four decades of the twentieth century, irreversible coma and the brain death was widely the point of discussion, and eventually the term "brain death" was unanimously claimed for the cessation of all activities of the brain, even if artificial life supporters can help in remaining the organs alive. However, the phenomenon resides under the issue of bio-ethics, since to declare a person dead when the organs are alive but the dead brain was quite controversial in itself. Hence in order to understand the phenomena completely and to decide what is wrong and immoral, it is important to understand some parts of the brain so that two main approaches of brain death, the whole-brain and the higher-brain definitions could be well understood (Laureys 2005).
The Brain-stem or Whole-Brain death
Brain-stem accounts for the part of the brain that controls most of the voluntary and involuntary actions, i.e., respiration, circulation of blood, metabolism, unconscious awareness and it is also performs as a bridge to transfer information from different parts of the body to the brain. The neurons count in this regard, which are considered the basic transporter cells for the information and commands of actions. Actually, the brain-stem is the joint between the spinal cord to the actual brain which consists of cerebellum and cerebral hemispheres. Any damage to this part of the brain commonly cause coma, paralysis, permanent unconsciousness and the patient becomes entirely dependent upon the artificial life supporters. In such cases, if the ventilators are removed, eventually the death occurs due to loss of contact between the brain and the systems of the body. The respiratory and cardiac activities get stopped and the death occurs naturally. This type of brain-death is termed as the whole-brain death and it is the most widely accepted amongst the most nations of the world. A patient suffering from brain-stem death is declared dead with the consent of relatives, the ventilators are removed and the alive organs are extracted out for further transplantation uses. According to the guidelines set out by the American Academy of Neurology, the criteria…