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Ethics in Biology, Engineering and Medicine: An International Journal
SJR: 0.123

ISSN Druckformat: 2151-805X
ISSN Online: 2151-8068

Ethics in Biology, Engineering and Medicine: An International Journal

DOI: 10.1615/EthicsBiologyEngMed.2015013249
pages 27-36

On the Precipice of Life: A Contractarian Analysis of Suspended Animation

Christian Aditya
Philosophy Department, University of Maryland at Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland 21250
Megan Centafont
Philosophy Department, University of Maryland at Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland 21250
Nathan Engel-Hawbecker
Philosophy Department, University of Maryland at Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland 21250
Zane Gray
Philosophy Department, University of Maryland at Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland 21250
Hassan Omar
Philosophy Department, University of Maryland at Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland 21250
Jaskeerat Singh
Philosophy Department, University of Maryland at Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland 21250

ABSTRAKT

In the event an individual sustains a fatal injury, doctors are granted an average of 15 minutes to respond before the likeliness of death greatly increases. Approximately 40% of traumatic injury deaths are due to blood loss and 35% of trauma patients die en route to the emergency room, which necessitates an alternative and immediate method of treatment. Suspended animation (S.A.) is the process of reducing core body temperature by transfusing an individual's blood with a cold saline solution, effectively slowing metabolism to rates comparable to those of a legally dead person. This affords physicians upwards of an hour of operating time before further risk incurs. Because of its significance in medicine and recent approval for human testing, suspended animation has warranted a considerable amount of attention and criticism. For this reason, an anticipatory ethical analysis of suspended animation is necessary and will be performed from the perspective of multiple stakeholders, including doctors, engineers, and patients alike. Future applications of S.A. in regards to cryogenics and space travel will be hypothesized as well. This serves to elucidate any ethical dilemmas that may arise through application of suspended animation and in doing so, grant the public insight on this groundbreaking and potentially lifesaving methodology.


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