James Hughes: The Death of Death

Posted in Anti-Aging, Transhumanism at 6:35 am by rheil

from Changesurfer.com

James Hughes: The Death of Death

(»The current definitions of brain death are predicated on the prognostic observation that brain dead patients would quickly die even with intensive care. But this is now shown to be untrue. Neuroremediation technologies and advances in intensive care will make it increasingly possible to keep alive the bodies of patients who would currently be classified as brain dead, and recover much of the memories and capabilities that we currently consider irrecoverable.
The on-going redefinition of death is the result of the technological deconstruction of dying. Instead of a relatively instantaneous, binary process, death is now more like a “syndrome,” a cluster of related attributes, with a probabilistic diagnosis. This disaggregation requires that we decide how many of these attributes are required before we begin treating someone as “dead,” just as physicians must decide how many psychiatric traits are required before making a diagnosis of “schizophrenia.” Electroencephalograms can only determine if there is a cessation of electrical activity on the surface of the brain, not in the deeper structures, and cannot determine if the electrically quiescent brain tissue is irrecoverable. Many of those who are diagnosed as brain dead in fact have clear evidence of functioning midbrains and brainstems, and are not necessarily irreversible.A key argument in favor of whole brain death criteria over neo-cortical death, that the brain provides integrative functions that the body needs to survive, has also been shown to be fallacious since patients meeting the current clinical criteria for whole brain death have survived for years. [...]«)

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