DEATH, DEMOCRACY AND PUBLIC ETHICAL CHOICE

REID CUSHMAN, SøREN HOLM

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The Danish Council of Ethics...believed that the brain-death criterion should not be accepted without public education and debate. Following the introduction of a spectrum of educational and related activites, a Gallup poll found that 98% of the survey population was aware of the debate over brain-vs-heart criteria and that 80% favoured the adoption of a supplemental brain-death standard...This raises the fundamental question of decisionmaking in pluralist democratic societies, of the limits of democratic involvement in such choices, and of the role of bodies like the Danish Council of Ethics...It must be part of the mission of a governmental bioethical body to use its peculiar expertise to teach and to lead -- to build a popular consensus out of confusion. But in doing so, such a Commission will be steering a dangerous course....

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-252
Number of pages16
JournalBioethics
Volume4
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Philosophy
  • Health Policy

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