The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 12, Issue 1, Spring 2012

The Principle of Totality and Integrity

Thomas J. Driscoll Jr.
Pages 69-84

Preserving Totality and Integrity in Donation after Circulatory Determination of Death

The permissibility of circulatory determination of death (CDD) preceding organ procurement remains controversial. This paper discusses the controversy and the liceity of irreversible circulatory cessation as a determinant of death. When specific protocols have been satisfied, including a waiting period of five minutes of asystole, CDD licitly signals the disintegration of the unitary and integrated whole that was the living human person. The author contends that after terminating disproportionate care, a surrogate may rely on irreversible circulatory cessation thus determined and may authorize organ donation, including limited pre-death procedures that are consonant with the dignity and well-being of the dying patient-donor. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 12.1 (Spring 2012): 69–84.