|Author/Contributor(s):||Miller, Franklin G ; Truog, Robert D|
|Publisher:||Oxford University Press, USA|
In this book Miller and Truog undertake an ethical examination that aims to honestly face the reality of medical practices at the end of life. They expose the misconception that stopping life support merely allows patients to die from their medical conditions, and they dispute the accuracy of determining death of hospitalized patients on the basis of a diagnosis of brain death prior to vital organ donation. After detailing the factual and conceptual errors surrounding current practices of determining death for the purpose of organ donation, the authors develop a novel ethical account of procuring vital organs. In the context of reasonable plans to withdraw life support, still-living patients are not harmed or wronged by organ donation prior to their death, provided that valid consent has been obtained for stopping treatment and for organ donation.
Recognizing practical difficulties in facing the truth regarding organ donation, the authors also develop a pragmatic alternative account based on the concept of transparent legal fictions. In sum, Miller and Truog argue that in order to preserve the legitimacy of end-of-life practices, we need to reconstruct medical ethics.