The Corner

Health Care

Redefining Death

A proposed change in the law would make organ procurement easier. That’s a bad reason to make it, I argue at Bloomberg Opinion.

Death can’t be denied but it can be edited.

In 1981, the Uniform Law Commission proposed a model law for the determination of death. It says that individuals have died when they have experienced an irreversible end to either their respiratory and circulatory functions or their brain functions. Most states have adopted this definition, and the rest adopted it in substance if not precise wording.

The commission is now considering whether the definition should be revised. One proposal has been gaining influence, but has dangers that ought to keep it from prevailing. . . .

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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