Tom Jones shot his girlfriend, Virginia Compton, in the head. Doctors declared she was “brain dead.” Tom was tried and convicted of attempted murder. The jury sentenced him to twenty years in prison. Meanwhile, Virginia was kept alive in a hospital. After a year, her family asked the hospital to remove her life-support system because she was “brain dead” and no longer existed. The hospital agreed, and Virginia’s heart soon stopped beating. Then the district attorney indicted Tom Jones for murder. However, Tom and his lawyer claimed that Tom didn’t kill Virginia. She died, they said, when the hospital removed her life-support system. Which side is correct? Why?
What we are looking for is the philosophical defense, not the legal…when did she stop being a human person?