For years, unethical ethicists have tried to define more and more broadly the definition of death so that they can get at your valuable organs a little quicker.
Now, an –ahem– ethicist has decided that we would not even wait for death. Death, says Walter Glannon, a Canada Research Chair in Medical Bioethics and Ethical Theory and professor at the University of Calgary, is morally insignificant.
Glannon’s abstract states (the full article is available for purchase) “it is not the timing or declaration of death that matters morally in this type of organ donation” — this type being one based on patient autonomy (or lack there of) and nonmaleficence.
“This position rejects the conviction that whether donors are harmed depends upon when death is declared and that procuring organs before this declaration always harms them,” Glannon wrote.
Glannon continued that time of death can be “one of the most vexed questions” as it pertains to organ donation, because in some cases the organ will not remain viable after the official declaration of death is made. Glannon also argues that following the dead donor rule (DDR) doesn’t always protect the patient from harm in that it might “defeat their interest of donating viable organs.”
You are not valuable, just your parts.