Life Studies Blog (Old)

July 22, 2005

Philosophy of nursing care, irreplaceability (by M)


"Efficiency and Irreplaceability", the translation of Chpater 7 of Brain Dead Person, was uploaded. In this chapter I discussed the importance of the irreplaceability of human life, and pointed out that modern science tends to overlook this aspect of reality. It may sound strange that a discussion of brain death leads us to a philosophical analysis of irreplaceability, however, through the analysis of the nursing care of brain dead persons in this book we came to realize that the essence of nursing lies in respect for the irreplaceability of human life, and this is one of the most important points found in ethics of brain death and organ transplants.

"Irreplaceable things, are in other words, things that you can never get back. A person’s life is the same. Certainly nothing can take the place of someone’s life. If a life is lost then it can never be taken back. Each moment of our life cannot be taken back. Nothing can take the place of the moments in our life; they are a continuous flow of once-only events. The irreplaceability of each moment of our life makes up the irreplaceability of our life itself. I think that respecting this kind of “irreplaceability” is the essence of nursing. (...) Therefore “medical treatment as nursing” is medical treatment that has the primary goal of respecting that which is irreplaceable." (Brain Dead Person pp.157-158)

Throughout this book I stressed the importance of "nursing care" of a brain dead person in a hospital. It may be unusual for an author of ethics of brain death to devote much space to the discussion of "nursing," however, it was this point that many Japanese readers of this book felt great sympathy for. Probably there are no books on brain death and organ transplants that may contain chapters of this kind. In Japan a lot of nurses and professors of nursing have supported the arguments of this book because they found nursing playing an important role in the ethical discussion of brain death.

And I reconsidered the principle of natural science and medicine from the viewpoint of nursing in the last part of this chapter.

I am going to write about it in the next entry.

Photo: Priority seats, Itami Airport, Osaka


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