2015 年 33 巻 p. 21-29
Can brain-death be the criterion of human death? This paper examines critically the main views regarding this issue and proposes a new view. First, I argue that the following three major views are implausible: (1) the President's Commission's view (the whole brain formulation), (2) Shewmon's view(the circulation formulation), and (3) Lizza's view (the higher brain formulation). Second, I propose my view. Distinguishing two questions-"Can brain-death be the criterion of(human) biological death?" and "Can brain-death be the criterion of (human) legal death?", the following points are discussed: (1) With regard to the first question, given that some organs function in harmony together in brain dead patients, their somatic organization is maintained, i.e., brain dead patients are still alive. Therefore, brain-death cannot be the criterion of biological death. (2) With regard to the second question, if four-organ systems are (biologically alive but) legally dead, so are brain dead patients, and thus brain-death can serve as a criterion of legal death. On the other hand, based on the premise that four-organ systems could be considered an intermediate state between being alive and dead, brain-dead patients would also be considered being in the intermediate state; therefore, brain-death cannot serve as the criterion of legal death.