The question: Is it possible for a person to be dead while their body is still alive?
Why should we ask this question?
Organ donation is a good thing is it not? Before we decide, we should be aware of what happens with organ donation.
For now, I will limit the discussion to donation of vital organs. By vital organs, I mean organs that a person cannot do without. For organs to be useful for transplantation, they need to be alive. Vital organs, like the liver, can be kept alive for a number of hours once removed if the organs are first properly infused with a preservative solution and cooled. The preservative solution must be infused within a relatively short period of time. Basically, for an organ, like a liver, to be useful the liver must be alive at the time the harvesting operation begins. For this to be the case, the body must be alive when the operation to harvest the organ begins. This would be possible if the donor was alive, but taking a vital organ would result in the death of the donor and would be morally wrong. The only other possibility is for it to be possible for a person to be dead while their body is still alive. If this is possible then vital organs can morally harvested.
The most significant moral question to answer, when looking at vital organ donation, is whether it is possible for a person to be dead while their body is still alive..