What does “dead” mean?

Should death be defined in strictly biological terms — as the body’s failure to maintain integrated functioning of respiration, blood circulation, and neurological activity? Should death be declared on the basis of severe neurological injury even when biological functions remain intact? Or is it essentially a social construct that should be defined in different ways?

❝ These are among the wide-ranging questions explored in a new special report, “Defining Death: Organ Transplantation and the Fifty-Year Legacy of the Harvard Report on Brain Death,”…The special report is a collaboration between The Hastings Center and the Center for Bioethics at Harvard Medical School.

Sometimes, these days, I think of death and dying. Some of us must. The old ones. I think of Dylan Thomas. I must needs think of science. Most of me pretty worn; but, I may provide a jot of knowledge simply for what I have experienced and survived.

One thought on “What does “dead” mean?

  1. Bardo Thodol says:

    A new study suggests your consciousness carries on after your heart stops beating https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/7819011/die-know-youre-dead-brain-working-after-death/
    Bioethics News: Consciousness after clinical death. The biggest ever scientific study published.
    Southampton University scientists have found evidence that awareness continue for at least several minutes after clinical death which was previously thought impossible. https://bioethics.georgetown.edu/2015/07/consciousness-after-clinical-death-the-biggest-ever-scientific-study-published/ “A recent article in British newspaper The Daily Mail featured an interview with Dr. Sam Parnia, with the lead “Consciousness may continue even after death, scientists now believe”;. Sam Parnia is head of a multidisciplinary team at Southampton University (United Kingdom) who published a study in the Oficial Journal of European Resuscitation Council, with the title “AWARE—AWAreness during REsuscitation—A prospective study; (DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.resuscitation.2014.09.004) which included more than 2,000 persons who suffered a cardiac arrest and successfully responded to resuscitation treatment, in 15 hospitals in the United Kingdom, United States and Austria. This is the largest study of its kind to date, using rigorous methodology, in order to exclude all those cases that could be based on individual impressions that are worthy, but which hold no scientific interest.”

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