I am fascinated by death, mind, and morality; and the existential meaning, if any, of human existence. At present, most of my research is focused on the nature of biological death and its relationship to the medical construct known as “brain death”. My published research in this area draws on analytic philosophy, social and experimental psychology, history, and medicine. At present, I am working on a book on brain death, scientific realism, and related issues.
I have also published research on moral questions about the way people should be treated at the end of life when medical professionals determine that continued treatment is “futile”, and yet they, or their families, do not agree to cease life sustaining treatment.
The use of animals obtained from slaughterhouses in experiments regarding postmortem brain reperfusion technology is another interest of mine, which combines my interests in animal rights and brain reperfusion.
I have published a single brief article relating to suicidality and the authentic self. I hope to continue to work on this issue in the future.
Finally, I remain interested in naturalistic theories of mind and mental representation, which I began to pursue in my dissertation, and which inform my current research on death.
Suicidality and the Authentic Self
Nair-Collins, M. 2021. Living to Die: On Chronic Suicidality and the Authentic Self. Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics 11:168-171.
Brain Death and Death
Nair-Collins, M. 2022. Preserved Hypothalamic Function is Not Consistent With the Whole-Brain Criterion for Death. In Death Determination by Neurologic Criteria: Areas of Consensus and Controversy, ed. Lewis A and Bernat JL. Springer, pp. 103-116. [Version of record behind a paywall. Link above is the accepted manuscript.]
Nair-Collins, M. 2022. Spinal Reflexes and Brain Death. Clinical Neurophysiology Practice 7:143-145.
Nair-Collins, M. 2022. Expanding the Social Status of “Corpse” to the Severely Comatose: Henry Beecher and the Harvard Brain Death Committee. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 65(1):41-58.
Nair-Collins, M. and Joffe, A.R. 2021. Frequent Preservation of Neurologic Function in Brain Death and Brainstem Death Entails False-Positive Misdiagnosis and Cerebral Perfusion. AJOB Neuroscience. Online before print, September 29, 2021.
Nair-Collins, M. and Joffe, A.R. 2021. Hypothalamic Function in Patients Diagnosed as Brain Dead and its Practical Consequences. Handbook of Clinical Neurology vol. 182 (3rd series). The Human Hypothalamus: Neuropsychiatric Disorders. D. Swaab et al., eds. Elsevier. [Version of record behind a paywall. Link above is the accepted manuscript.]
Miller, F., Nair-Collins M., and Truog, R. 2021. It is Time to Abandon the Dogma that Brain Death is Biological Death. Hastings Center Report 51:18-21. [Behind a paywall. Email me for the article for free.]
Nair-Collins, M. 2021. We Die When Entropy Overwhelms Homeostasis. In: Exploring the Philosophy of Death and Dying, eds. M. Cholbi and T. Timmerman, Routledge.
Nair-Collins, M. and Miller, F.G. 2020. Current Practice Diagnosing Brain Death is Not Consistent with Legal Statutes Requiring the Absence of All Brain Function. Journal of Intensive Care Medicine. First published July 6, 2020. [Version of record behind a paywall. Link above is the accepted manuscript.]
Miller, F.G. and Nair-Collins, M. 2020. An Incoherent Proposal to Revise the Uniform Determination of Death Act. Hastings Bioethics Forum Essay (Hastings Center Blog).
Nair-Collins, M. and Miller, F.G. 2019. Commentary: False Positives in the Diagnosis of Brain Death. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 28: 648-656. [Version of record behind a paywall. Link above is the accepted manuscript.]
Nair-Collins, M. 2018. The Public’s Right to Accurate and Transparent Information about Brain Death and Organ Procurement. Hastings Center Report 48:S43-S45.
Nair-Collins, M. 2018. An unquestioned assumption in the debate on the dead donor rule. Journal of Medical Ethics 2018;44:872-873. [behind paywall; contact me for article for free]
Nair-Collins, M. 2018. A Biological Theory of Death: Characterization, Justification, and Implications. Diametros 55:27-43.
Nair-Collins, M. and Miller, F.G. 2017. Do the “Brain Dead” Merely Appear to be Alive?
Nair-Collins, M., Northrup, J., Olcese, J. 2016. Hypothalamic-Pituitary Function in Brain Death: A Review . Journal of Intensive Care Medicine 31:41-50.
Nair-Collins, M. 2017. Can the Brain-Dead Be Harmed or Wronged? On the Moral Status of Brain Death and Its Implications for Organ Transplantation. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 27:525-559.
Nair-Collins, M. and Miller, F.G. 2016. Is Heart Transplantation After Circulatory Death Compatible with the Dead Door Rule? Journal of Medical Ethics 42:319-320. [behind a paywall, contact me for the article for free]
Nair-Collins, M. 2015. Taking Science Seriously in the Debate on Death and Organ Transplantation. Hastings Center Report 45:38-48. [Behind a paywall. Contact me for the article for free.]
Nair-Collins, M., Green, SR, Sutin, AR. 2015. Abandoning the Dead Donor Rule? A National Survey of Public Views on Death and Organ Donation. Journal of Medical Ethics 41:297-302.
Nair-Collins, M. 2015. Clinical and Ethical Perspectives on Brain Death. Medicolegal and Bioethics 5:69-80.
Nair-Collins, M. and Gerend, MA. 2015. Moral Evaluations of Organ Transplantation Influence Judgments of Death and Causation. Neuroethics 8:283–297
Nair-Collins, M. 2013. Brain Death, Paternalism, and the Language of “Death” Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 23:53-104.
Nair-Collins, M. and Hitt, J.M. 2012. Justice, Profound Neurological Injury, and Brain Death. In: Medicine and Social Justice, 2nd edition. Eds: Rhodes, R., Battin, M. and Silvers, A. Oxford University Press.
Nair-Collins, M. 2013. Professor Gert’s Views on Death: An Analysis and Critique. American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Philosophy and Medicine 12:20-25.
Nair-Collins, M. 2010. Death, Brain Death, and the Limits of Science. Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics. 38:667-683. [Behind a paywall. Contact me for the paper for free.]
Collins, M. 2010. Reevaluating the Dead Donor Rule. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 35:154-179. [Behind a paywall; contact me for the article for free]
Collins, M. 2009. Consent for Organ Retrieval Cannot be Presumed. HEC Forum 21:71-106. [Behind a paywall, contact me for the article for free]
Nair-Collins, M. 2015. Laying Futility to Rest. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 40:554-583.
Nair-Collins, M. 2017. Medical Futility and Involuntary Passive Euthanasia. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 60:415-422.
Slaughtered Animals as Research Subjects and Postmortem Brain Reperfusion
Nair-Collins, M. 2021. Evaluating the Translational Value of Postmortem Brain Reperfusion Technology. Translational Neuroscience 12:297-300.
Nair-Collins, M. 2021. From the Slaughterhouse to the Laboratory Bench: On the Ethics of Using Slaughtered Animals for Biomedical Research. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 64(2): 173-188.
Nair-Collins, M. 2018. Responsibility for Poor Health Status of Lower Income People Must Account for Morally Blameworthy Decisions Made by Employers Who Exploit Them. The American Journal of Bioethics 18:17-19. [behind paywall, contact me for the paper for free]
Naturalistic Theories of Mind
Nair-Collins, M. 2013. Representation in Biological Systems: Teleofunction, Etiology, and Structural Preservation. In: L. Swan, ed. Origins of Mind. Springer.
Collins, M. 2010. The Nature and Implementation of Representation in Biological Systems. PhD Dissertation, CUNY Graduate Center, Department of Philosophy.