Life's End and Organ Donation at the heart of Colloquy of Regional Spaces for Ethical Reflection at Strasbourg

The national colloquy of the Regional Spaces for Ethical Reflection was held at Strasbourg on September 10 – 11, 2015 on the premises of the National School of Administration (ENA).

In terms of the law, the Regional and Inter-regional Spaces for Ethical Reflection “have a vocation to elicit and co-ordinate ethical initiatives in life sciences and health. They take care of training missions, documentation and information, promotion of public debates, meetings and interdisciplinary exchanges. They constitute an overseer of the ethical practices inherent in the domains of life sciences and health”.

The first day of this colloquy was devoted to “Brain death and the removal of organs”. The debate had bearing on the ethical realm of the removal from donors of the Maastricht 3 category (after controlled cardiac arrest) but also on the political strategies, both legislative and medical, to be put into action to increase the number of grafts available.

During the morning, after several contributions on the “Views of brain death in France, Switzerland and Germany”, neurologist Xavier Ducrocq gave a talk on the theme of “What brain death isn’t – states of poorly-relating”. Following this, Professor of sociology Pascal Hintermeyer spoke on the “Anthropological and social aspects of Reticence in the donation of organs”.

The second day gave the stage to doctoral and post-doctoral students. Spoken communications, largely varied, and mostly focused on the theme of life’s end and death. Also touched upon were, notably, the crib death, the “ethics of the places of death; the architecture of a palliative care unit”; and also “what an Aristotelian friendship brings to the ethics of relations between interns and senior doctors”. The afternoon was devoted to solitude at life’s end, philosophic considerations on euthanasia, anticipated directives and “ethics & heuristics of shame at life’s end”.


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