Re: Dr. Dobson

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Tue Aug 09 2005 - 15:19:54 EDT

----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: "George Murphy" <>; <>; "Carol or John
Burgeson" <>
Sent: Tuesday, August 09, 2005 3:02 PM
Subject: Re: Dr. Dobson

>> Some have proposed a concept of "brain birth" analogous to the concept of
>> "brain death" that's now used in dealing with end of life issues. & it
>> makes some sense to say that before a brain begins to form the conceptus
>> cannot be considered a "person" by the above definition since the element
>> of rationality is lacking. Of course if a rational mind can exist
>> independently of a physical brain - & the fact that we speak of mind of
>> God that doesn't require such a brain means that we can't rule out the
>> possibility - then this argument is weakened considerably.
> I dont know if you are endorsing the view of "brain birth" or if you mean
> to equate the concept of the brain forming with the forming of the person.
> But, it should be noted, that the definition of brain death has nothing
> whatsover to do with the definition of personhood. And this is for the
> reason's stated previously, there is no way to define scientifically what
> a person is. You could even argue that what it means to be alive and not
> alive is not purely a scientific definition either.
> The concept of brain death came about so organs could be harvested from
> living bodies, without killing the person by taking them, so the patients
> had to be declared dead prior to removing them.

Use of the criterion of whole brain death has certainly gotten a strong
impetus from the desire to have transplantable organs but its an
oversimplification to say that that that is the sole justification for it.
A good - though not airtight - case can be made for that criterion
independently of organ donation & transplant issues.

Received on Tue Aug 9 15:21:17 2005

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