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Determination of Death / Informed Consent

Legal Definition of Death and Uniform Determination of Death Act

Death is defined as the termination of all brain functions, including the brain stem. The Uniform Determination of Death Act (UDDA) defines death as irreversible loss of consciousness and irreversible cessation of breathing, with irreversible cessation of heart function. The UDDA law was created by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL). The NCCUSL is a group that brings together state legislators to create uniform laws for what is considered acceptable for state residents. The Uniform Determination of Death Act (UDDA) was created to ensure that both methods are used to determine death. The UDDA also ensures uniformity across all states in determining death, including when and how people should be buried.

Dying Within the Context of Faith

Dying within the context of faith is the basic principle of human life. It is a fundamental principle that all people have the right to choose how they want to die and are free to follow their beliefs. The basic principle of human life is that all humans have the right to live and that life is sacred (Cioffi, 2018). The first principle of human rights is that one should be treated with dignity and respect. Hence, this means, in particular, that all people should be considered equal, regardless of their race or gender. The second principle of human rights is that everyone has the right to participate in society by enjoying the freedom of thought and expression, freedom from torture, and arbitrary arrest or imprisonment. Also, freedom from slavery or servitude except as a punishment for crime, freedom from discrimination in employment or occupation on grounds only of religious belief or race or color.

Bioethical Analysis of Pain Management – Pain Relief

Pain is an inevitable part of life, and it is impossible to avoid it altogether. However, it can signify an underlying illness or injury when the pain becomes unbearable or unmanageable. For this reason, you must seek medical attention to determine the cause of your pain and ensure that you receive proper care. Pain relief is a crucial part of the clinical experience for patients (Cioffi, 2018). Pain can be debilitating and difficult to manage, so healthcare professionals must provide their patients with relief as soon as possible. However, some ethical issues surrounding pain management must be addressed. These issues include the right to autonomy and self-determination, the right to privacy, the right not to suffer unnecessary pain or suffering, and the right not to be caused unnecessary distress or anxiety.

Difference between Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering are two different things. Pain is a sensation that causes a person to experience discomfort in the body, while suffering is an emotional reaction to pain. Pain is not always bad, but suffering has a negative emotional impact on the person who experiences it.

Definition of Diagnosis and Prognosis

Diagnosis is the medical term for identifying a specific disease or condition. A diagnosis can be made by a physician, nurse practitioner, or another health professional who examines you and may order tests. Prognosis predicts the likely course of a disease or condition in someone with that condition. Many factors can affect prognosis and should not be used to determine whether a treatment is appropriate.

The extraordinary means of life support

The extraordinary means of life support refer to how a person can be kept alive in a state of clinical death. The most common of these is the use of a ventilator which helps to breathe for someone whose brain has been deprived of oxygen by their body shutting down. The issue with this type of treatment is that it requires a high level of medical expertise and training, which is difficult to achieve on a large scale. It also requires mechanical assistance, which means that if something goes wrong, there is little chance of intervention.

Killing or Allowing To Die

In the context of a clinical trial, it is ethically correct to kill an individual to maintain the safety of others participating in the study. However, this is because it is in the best interest of all participants in the trial to have their participation monitored and recorded by a third party—and death is one way for this to happen. The act of allowing to die is not necessarily wrong, as long as it is done to save other lives or to protect others from harm. For example, if someone has a life-threatening disease and is given the option to live, but their quality of life would be significantly diminished due to their illness, we can morally justify giving them a choice between living and dying with dignity.

Catholic Declaration on Life and Death

The Catholic Church teaches that life is a gift from God. Death is a part of life, but one that we must face with courage and faith. The Church teaches that life begins at conception and ends at natural death. It does not recognize artificial methods for extending life. There are no special prayers to be said for the dead, nor does the Church believe in an after-life. The Church recognizes that many people are still on deathbeds when they are pronounced dead by doctors or nurses (Cioffi, 2019). The Church does not teach that people who appear to be dead can be brought back to life, but it does state that they can be helped through prayer and spiritual support during this time.

Free And Informed Consent From The Catholic Perspective

Free and informed consent is a concept in the Catholic tradition that protects individuals from harm by medical interventions(Cioffi, 2019). It is a crucial part of the right to life. Informed consent is a process where patients are made aware of the risks and benefits of any treatment or procedure, so they can make an informed decision about whether or not they want to receive it. The patient must understand all information provided about the options, including their benefits and any side effects.

Definition of Proxi, Surrogate

People may choose a proxy to act on their behalf after they die. The proximate cause of death is the reason that led to the death of a person, which can be due to illness, accident, or suicide. Examples of the proximate cause of death are injuries sustained in an accident or suicide by hanging. The surrogate decision-maker (SDM) is a person who acts as the legal guardian for a patient and has authority over their health care decisions. The SDM may be designated by the patient or their family or appointed by another person, such as a judge.

Explanation of Terms

An advance directive is a legal document that specifies how you want to be treated if you become unable to make decisions for yourself. The advance directive may be written by you, a health care proxy, or a representative. Your health care provider will ensure your advance directive is valid before it is used during your incapacity.

A living will is a legal document that states whether you wish to have life-sustaining treatment withheld or withdrawn in the event of your incapacity. You must permit your doctor to use life-sustaining treatment if you are incompetent and do not have an advance directive.

A power of attorney (PoA) is a legal document that gives someone else the authority to act on your behalf when you cannot do so yourself. It can be used with a durable power of attorney (DPOA). A durable power of attorney allows someone else to make medical decisions on your behalf after you become incapacitated. A durable POA allows someone else to make financial decisions on your behalf after you become incapacitated.

A DNR is a declaration that a patient, in the event of sudden cardiac arrest or any other serious medical emergency, should not be revived by measures such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The order is intended to be used when a patient has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and has expressed wishes to make decisions about end-of-life care. It is typically given by the patient’s attending physician or advanced practice nurse in consultation with the family members and other involved parties. The patient’s physician or surgeon may also write a DNR if they believe it is in the patient’s best interest.

Summary of ERD

A person’s healthcare decision-making capacity needs to be respected, recognized, and supported. To do so, we must first ensure that the person is competent to make decisions about their health care. Individuals unable to make decisions for them may nominate a representative to make health care decisions in their place. The nominee should demonstrate that they can make a responsible decision and that the nominee has made a conscious and informed decision about whether to allow him or herself to be nominated as the representative. Catholic health institutions should not promote or condone contraceptive practices but should provide instruction both about the Church’s teaching on responsible parenthood and natural family planning methods.


Cioffi, A. (2018, March 17). BIO 603 3 17 18 [Video file]. Retrieved from Bio 603 3 17 18

Cioffi, A. (2019, April 6). BIO 603 CONSENT 4 6 19 [Video file]. Retrieved from


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