Recovery from “Brain Death”: A Neurologist's Apologia

  title={Recovery from “Brain Death”: A Neurologist's Apologia},
  author={D. Alan Shewmon},
  journal={The Linacre Quarterly},
  pages={30 - 96}
  • D. Shewmon
  • Published 1 February 1997
  • Psychology
  • The Linacre Quarterly
Key Result...... . . ............... . ...... . . . ........ . . .. .... . . . .. ... .... . . ..... 31 Prologue ............ . .. .. . .. . . . . . . ... . ........ .. .............. . ... . ....... . ... 32 Setting the stage Mind-brain relationship . . .......................... . ...... .. ........... .. .... 34 Two basic neurological dogmas .. . . .. ... .. ....... .. ...... ..... .. ...... . ......

Tables from this paper

What Makes Killing for Organs Wrong? A Philosophical Defense of the ‘Dead Donor’ Rule

The author reveals how the ‘dead-donor’ rule has changed the way that people think about death and Mortal Harvesting, and explains why it is important to think of it in this way.


The important task entrusted to this Conference by Popes Benedict XVI and his predecessor John Paul II has been clearly articulated by Bishop Chancellor Sánchez Sorondo: ‘The Academy is thus faced

Brain based criteria for death in the light of the Aristotelian-Scholastic anthropology

The neurological criteria of death are still lacking generally accepted scientific basis and should not be used in medicine and in the legal systems as a basis for diagnosing comatose/having no brainstem reflexes/apneic patients dead.

‘Brain death’: should it be reconsidered?

It is presented four arguments to support the view that patients who meet the current operational criteria of ‘brain death’ do not necessarily have the irreversible loss of all brain (or brainstem) functions.

Brain-Based Determination of Death Revisited

As I understand it, Dr. Alan Shewmon's defection from his previously held position of endorsing whole-brain death formulations is contingent on his abandonment of the axiom that the brain is the

Of Wholes and Parts: A Thomistic Refutation of “Brain Death”

  • M. Accad
  • Philosophy
    The Linacre quarterly
  • 2015
I propose a refutation of the two major arguments that support the concept of “brain death” as an ontological equivalent to death of the human organism. I begin with a critique of the notion that a

Brainstem death: A comprehensive review in Indian perspective

  • A. Dhanwate
  • Medicine, Biology
    Indian journal of critical care medicine : peer-reviewed, official publication of Indian Society of Critical Care Medicine
  • 2014
In this comprehensive review, an attempt has been made to highlight the history and concept of brain death and brain-stem death; the anatomical and physiological basis of brain- stems death, and criteria to diagnose brain- stem death in India.

The Understanding of Human Death by Polish Early Career Pre-Specialist Physicians

The study showed that only 7.08% of pre-specialist physicians could fully and correctly identify the basis for declaring a patient dead after diagnosing the irreversible cessation of brain function, and only 33.63% of all respondents understood death in accordance with legal acts currently in force in Poland.

Medical and ethical dilemma in brain death.

The authors define death, as it has been for centuries, as the moment when the cardio-respiratory function no longer exists, which leads to the loss of tens of thousands of lives that might have been saved through transplant, which may lead to manipulating the border between life and death, with the risk of trespassing each individual's right to life.

The death of whole-brain death: the plague of the disaggregators, somaticists, and mentalists.

  • R. Veatch
  • Psychology
    The Journal of medicine and philosophy
  • 2005
The present article accepts that there are insurmountable problems with whole-brain death views, but challenges the assumption that loss of somatic integration is the proper basis for pronouncing death, arguing for the integration of bodily and mental function as the critical feature of human life and that its irreversible loss constitutes death.



Brain life and brain death--the anencephalic as an explanatory example. A contribution to transplantation.

Laws should be amended in all countries to allow the abortion of anencephalics at any time, in that they do not atAny time possess brain life.


On the basis of a survey of American neuropathologists and the data from this study, the entity commonly termed “respirator brain” may be confirmed.


  • J. Korein
  • Medicine
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
  • 1978
The usage of the terms death and brain death are discussed and throughout this paper these are separated from other sets of medical problems and social issues, such as those relating to irreversible noncognitive states, organ transplantation and the “right to die.”

The impending collapse of the whole-brain definition of death.

  • R. Veatch
  • Biology
    The Hastings Center report
  • 1993
For many years there has been lingering doubt, at least among theorists, that the currently fashionable "whole-brain-oriented" definition of death has things exactly right. I myself have long

ABC of brain stem death. From brain death to brain stem death.

The report of the Ad Hoc Committee of the Harvard Medical School in yrcptivity ad OSnIVIIy y .

The brain stem in brain death: a critical review.

The issue of brain death is taken from the "misty court of `philosophy" and examined in the cool light of medical science and clinical neurology, which will not cut corners and will be as exacting as is humanly possible.

[Is brain death actually death?].

  • J. Seifert
  • Philosophy
    Diskussionsforum medizinische Ethik
  • 1990
A newly thought out notion of biological death of the human organism as a whole ("clinical death" as irreversible cessation of all vital bodily functions, in particular of cardiopulmonary and cerebral functions) is proposed as theoretically best founded and ethically safest medical criterion of death.

The neuropathological findings in irreversible coma. A critque of the "respirator".

The entity commonly termed "respirator brain" may be confirmed on the basis of a survey of American neuropathologists and the data from this study, which suggests a dynamic process that is complicated by concurrent postmortem changes.

Danish ethics council rejects brain death as the criterion of death -- commentary 2: return to Elsinore.

  • C. Pallis
  • Psychology
    Journal of medical ethics
  • 1990
All death -- in this perspective -- is, and always has been, brainstem death.

Persistent vegetative state after brain damage. A syndrome in search of a name.