If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?

  1. I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead.

    Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll figure out how to fix dead brains and revive me.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Greg Bernhardt

    Staff: Admin

    Have you considered the massive burden you place on your loved ones? You might have just as much chance as if they freeze you. At least then your family can move on.
     
  4. I understand why someone else would want to have the plug pulled, but not I. There's a number of revolutionary treatments in the pipeline, from stem cells to neuroprosthetics. As long as I'm alive I have a chance at it.
     
  5. I'd be paying for this myself. It's in my will that if my brain dies then all the money in my bank account will go towards keeping my body alive. At the very least I'll become the longest-living person in history.
     
  6. Greg Bernhardt

    Staff: Admin

    You must be very very well off then. However, I was thinking more of the emotional burden.
     
  7. turbo

    turbo 7,366
    Gold Member

    Pull the plug! No rational thought, no cognition, no understanding, no emotion... I would much rather be dead.
     
  8. jim hardy

    jim hardy 4,808
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2014 Award

    No way, man - I'm taking mine with me.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2013
  9. I doubt it. Your brain is you despite what a certain TV neuroscientist says. If it's dead, you're dead. If it's another organ failure, there might be a chance if real preservation technology existed. But it doesn't and I think it will be much longer than 20 years. Besides, there are enormous social consequences to such immortality. Think about it. The old folks hang around forever and don't leave room for the younger generations (who also want to live forever). Anyway, since we probably can't make new brains without making new identities, the whole idea falls apart. Your brain will eventually die and with it, you will die.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2013
  10. jim hardy

    jim hardy 4,808
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2014 Award

    Fred Hoyle once posed the question:
    (this is from memory so not verbatim)

    'Suppose you had a microscope and forceps small enough you could build a replica of yourself atom by atom, duplicating every detail right down to the spin on every single electron.
    When you finally set the last atom in place, would your creation sit up and talk to you? Would it share you memories? "

    So it becomes a philosophical , or at least metaphysical question.

    My advice is: avoid bungee jumping, fast motorcycles and sharks.
     
  11. Why? You can still do a lot of things without your brain. This baby doesn't even have a brain: . Given the choice of living just by reflexes and not living at all, I'd choose living by reflexes.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  12. berkeman

    Staff: Mentor

    If you are just brain dead, your organs can be harvested to help save several other lives. It's totally unreasonable to believe that you can be revived after brain death. Pull the plug.
     
  13. Greg Bernhardt

    Staff: Admin

    That's a very good point! One that really puts the question more in perspective.
     
  14. yeah i think the op's question needs to be more specific. maybe he means comatose or some vegetated state
     
  15. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    Agreed. Since the brain stores information about who you are, destroying it destroys who you are. You might be able to one-day regenerate it or swap it out with a new one, but the information about who you are isn't coming back.

    Pull the plug! But make sure you harvest my organs first!
     
  16. turbo

    turbo 7,366
    Gold Member

    Amen! I am signed up as an organ donor. I have lungs, heart, kidneys, liver, etc, etc that might save the lives of others who need them. I don't mind dying, but I don't want to go to waste if others could live.
     
  17. Lol... I always thought the defining aspects of dead, were....




    OCR
     
  18. lisab

    Staff: Mentor

    Pull the plug on me too.

    This is all temporary. Just keep that in mind, every day you live. Carpe diem!
     
  19. sas3

    sas3 201
    Gold Member

    Brain dead, as it implies the brain is no longer there and that is me, so I say pull the plug and harvest what you can be used to help others..
     
  20. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaGBYnSFK2Y
     
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