Friday, October 12, 2007

Death and Technology

I ran across this article recently, which discusses how changes in medical technology have had a historical and continuing effect on our definition of death. First we died when we stopped breathing, then we died when our hearts stopped beating, then it was the cessation of brain activity that determined time of death, etc.

While i found the historical perspective interesting, the more compelling aspects of the continuing relationship between death and technology lie in projecting this relationship forward into the future. How far are we going to be able to push the boundaries between life and death as our technological tools continue to improve faster and faster?