WHEN DECAPITATON DOESN’T MEAN DEATH
A medical debate over the definition of death has led to some gruesome questions about how far life can be stretched.
By: Haider Javed Warraich
Published: October 26th, 2016
Level of difficulty: Upper-Intermediate
Prepared by Gözde Sızan
BEFORE YOU READ
- What does dead mean by Scientfic American (An article and a video)
- Prezi: Vegetative State by Leticia Mordi
- Game of Thrones – The Execution of Eddard Stark (7mins) – for those who have not seen the first episode of Game of Thrones
- In the first paragraph, what does “he did not make it” mean?
- Read the example of the patient in intensive care. What was surprising about his “death”? (use your own words)
- What does ‘this’ refer to in this phrase: It is hypothesized that this occurs because of residual medications floating around their sera…?
- A person who experiences the Lazarus effect continue living. Is this statement true of false? Why?
- We understand from the information provided about the Middle ages that
- Doctors wanted to kill people using pins
- Doctors doubted patients were dead
- Doctors wanted to guarantee the patient was dead
- The distinction between life and death is obscure in today’s world because ________________
- Read the section concerning decapitation carefully to the end. Why was decapitation seen as the guaranteed way to kill someone?
- Watch the following video carefully. It will help you understand the next questions.
- Understanding Brain Death – English by Hodsociety (7mins)
The state of the brain can be ultimately determined thanks to break throughs in modern technology/ development of modern medicine / Better trained medical personnel/ Better medical technology. Mark the odd man out.
- The brain stem is responsible for carrying out so-called ______________________, like breathing and blinking. The cortexes are responsible for ______________________, like thinking and talking.
- An individual has been in a car crash and enters a comma from which he emerges . He is able to breathe on his own but he remains unconscious. Is he “dead”? Why or why not?
- True or False: Vegetative functions are any of the conscious body processes needed to keep the body alive.
- True or False: Definition of brain death is still a controversial issue.
- What precaution did Doctor Barnard have to take before he performed the heart transplant? Why?
- What conclusion can be drawn from the experiment with the sheep?
- What is implied by the phrase “ I daresay no one has ever bothered to check the pulse…”? Use your own words, then find the answer in the text)
- Read the section titled As I see it…..What aspect of the definition of death does the writer seem to object to?
- After reading the text, why do you think that the patient passes away?
Write an essay in which you discuss whether it is morally right to for doctors to let a patient in a persistent vegetative state die. Support your ideas from the provided sources above.
WHEN DECAPITATION DOESN’T MEAN DEATH – KEY
- It means that the man/ the patient is dead.
- His heart started beating after he had been declared dead
- False because whatever the cause, the patients’ resurrected heartbeats almost always fade again soon.
- monitors can detect the faintest of activity in the heart and brain and technology can sustain bodies in which the brain, heart or lungs have failed
- Because decapitation…Severed the connections between the brain the heart and the lungs
- Better trained medical personnel
- vegetative functions / higher level functions
- He is not dead because only when a person’s entire brain irreversibly shuts down is the person considered dead
- He actively stopped the donor’s heart from beating using a lethal injection; to avoid any uncertainty
- It is possible that decapitated animals are not dead for some time.
- The victim may not be dead; decapitation can be ambiguous
- The desire to define human life through strictly a biological lens OR A body that beats to the drum of random nerves firing which keep it breathing is now considered the essence of human life.
- Because the patient had a brain death