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Abstract 摘要

In recent years, “head replacement” or head transplantation has become a controversial issue in medical ethics. The Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero announced that a head transplantation would be carried out in 2018, intensifying debate on medico-technological methods. This essay addresses the issue from the perspective of Mahayana Buddhism, using Buddhist ideas such as consciousness, brain death, karma, and compassion to discuss the incompatibility of modern technology with Buddhist ethics and beliefs. For instance, many Buddhists, Pure Land believers in particular, hold the view that the consciousness does not immediately leave a body pronounced dead. The removal of the head or a connected organ (such as the brain) from a “dead” person might thus be perceived as problematic in interrupting the final journey of rebirth.

近幾年,“換頭術”或頭顱移植的倫理問題被炒得沸沸揚揚。據意大利神經外科專家賽吉爾.卡納維羅宣佈,2018 年頭顱移植將在活人身上實施。曾經的“天堂計劃”眼看成為現實。但是這項新的生命支持技術到底該不該存在、它的存在是不是符合倫理道德倫理,還有待進一步探討。本文試圖從大乘佛教的思想,根據佛教對認識、死亡、因果律等問題的看法,討論佛教對“換頭術”以及科技醫療等議題的看法。作者認為,像“換頭術”這樣的現代科技與佛教的基本倫理思想存在著不可融合的矛盾。譬如,淨土宗對人死與腦死的區分導致教徒認為“換頭術”或器官移植術,包括腦移植術會使死者因強烈的痛苦生嗔惱,因而障礙死者的往生過程。

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