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Death - Living Definitions - Facts,Figures and Unborn Answers

brain death, death living definitions, Death , blood circulation , brain , Soul , Body

Death – Living Definitions - Facts, Figures and Unborn Answers :

What is Death? – A statutory Definition of Death :

Every country had its own legal definitions on Death .

For example, In Australian law, death is generally defined as either irreversible cessation of circulation of blood in the body or irreversible cessation of all functions of the brain of the person."


Brain Death :
Brain death (irreversible cessation of all function of the brain) means death of both the upper brain and brain stem.

A person who is brain dead, has lost both the capacity to think and perceive, as well as the control of basic body functions.

Court challenges:
Court challenges to consider upper brain death alone have so far failed, but history suggests that our current definition of death is far from permanent.

Death from a Religious perspective:
For the Roman Catholic Church, Death is the "complete and final separation of the soul from the body".

Not for Church!!:
However the Vatican has conceded that diagnosing death is a subject for medicine, not the Church.

In 1957 Pope Pius XII raised the concerns over whether doctors might be "continuing the resuscitation process, despite the fact that the soul may already have left the body.


Confronting Modern Medicine!!:
" He even asked one of the central questions confronting modern medicine, namely whether "death had already occurred after grave trauma to the brain, which has provoked deep unconsciousness and central breathing paralysis, the fatal consequences of which have been retarded by artificial respiration." The answer, he said, "did not fall within the competence of the Church."

"It remains for the doctor and especially the anesthesiologist, to give a clear and precise definition of "death" and the "moment of death" of a patient who passes away in a state of unconsciousness."


Brain death

Brain death (irreversible cessation of all function of the brain) normally occurs after a stroke, or an impact that causes the brain to swell and push against the skull, preventing blood from flowing to the brain.

Brain Death and Reversible Coma:
In the absence of oxygenated blood, brain cells quickly die. The dead cells break down and liquefy.

Brain death is quite different from reversible coma (unconsciousness) in which living brain cells remain.
A person can remain permanently unconscious with total or partial brain death.

Upper Brain and Lower Brain:
A person with death of only the upper brain (cerebral hemispheres) will not have consciousness, memory, knowledge or thought, but the living lower brain (brain stem) allows the heart to pump, the lungs to breathe and the body to function.

To be legally brain dead, all function of both the upper and lower brain must cease.

Because the heart will fail on a brain-dead person, certification of death by brain-death criteria (instead of circulatory criteria) will only be needed when the dead person's body functions are being maintained by an artificial ventilator.

To establish that the brain is dead, certifying doctors must ascertain that:
1. There is no evidence of brain function over a period of time

2. The loss of function is not a result of drugs, hypothermia (low temperature), hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyponatraemia (low blood sodium)

3. The person has sustained a brain injury sufficient to account for the irreversible loss of brain function. Often this is done by CT scan

4. There are no reflex functions associated with coughing, gagging, eye movement, blinking, or dilation of the pupils

5. The person makes no attempt to breathe when disconnected from the respirator for several minutes

6. During the previous test, the carbon dioxide level of the blood has risen above the point at which breathing is normally stimulated

These tests are frequently repeated after a further 24 hours as an assurance of irreversibility.

A flat electroencephalogram, indicating an absence of brain activity is often used for verification.

Where the "dead" person's organs are available for donation, two doctors, neither of whom is caring for a potential organ recipient, must undertake the testing and certification.

If the person has received drugs that might invalidate the testing procedure, or if the head is so badly damaged that the tests cannot be performed, death can be determined by total lack of blood flow to the brain.

This is done by inserting dyes (angiogram), or radioisotopes into the blood vessels supplying the brain blood vessels, to ascertain that they do not travel to the brain.

When death occurs
1. Breathing ceases entirely.
2. Heartbeat and pulse stop.
3. The person is entirely unresponsive to stimuli.
4. The eyes may be fixed in directions. The pupils are dilated and fixed to light. The eyelids may be open or closed.
5. A loss of control of urine and/or bowels may occur.
6. The skin may become pale (known as pallor mortis); there may be signs of blood buildup in the part of the body at lowest elevation (known as Livor mortis).
7. The person becomes progressively mottled and cold (algor mortis) and stiff (rigor mortis).

Customs and superstitions:

In China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan the number 4 is often associated to death due to the sound of the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean words for four and death being similar. For this reason, hospitals and hotels often omit the 4th, 14th, etc. floors. However, ISO 3166-2 codes for Japan does have JP-04 for Miyagi Prefecture.

Causes of human death in the US

In 2002, in the United States, various common or noteworthy causes of death were:
1. Heart Disease: 696,947
2. Cancer: 557,271
3. Stroke: 162,672
4. Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 124,816
5. Accidents (unintentional injuries): 106,742
6. Diabetes: 73,249
7. Influenza/pneumonia: 65,681
8. Alzheimer's disease: 58,866
9. Nephritis, nephritic syndrome, and nephrosis: 40,974
10. Septicemia: 33,865
11. Suicide: 30,622
12. Murder: 16,110
13. Execution: 71

It is worth noting that in the United States, as with most of the industrialized world, most deaths are from chronic and not acute disease. This is because wealthier nations tend to have extensive healthcare.

In less developed countries, most fatalities occur from preventable diseases such as malaria, cholera or AIDS.


What Happens after Death?

Will God Forget the Dead?

Do Good People Really Go to Heaven When They Die?
People Believed in 'Going to Heaven' Long Before Christianity
What Does the Bible Say About the "Immortal Soul"?
When I Die Will I Go to Heaven?

This is one of the great questions of life: What happens when we die? Is death the end of human existence and consciousness, or do we continue in some other place or state of being?

Do we go to a place of everlasting reward or eternal torment?

Are we destined to be reincarnated, coming to life again in a different body in a seemingly endless cycle of living and dying?

Will we ever see deceased loved ones again? Is there somewhere you can go to find the answers?

Centuries of Research and NO answer yet:

In spite of centuries of research, science cannot tell us when, where or how life began.

Only one source tells us how life began and for what purpose. Shouldn't we go to that source to understand the mystery of death? The Bible tells us exactly what happens after death. It tells us what happens to those who have done right and wrong and reveals the fate of the billions of people who have never known God and His way of life. Most churches claim to teach what the Bible says—but what does it really reveal? You need to discover the answers yourself.

C.EASHWER-SINGAPORE
eashwer@pacific.net.sg
Published: 2006-04-22
Author: Chockalingam Eswaramurthi

About the author or the publisher
Iam a Professional writer dedicated to sharing the knowledge on topics of Public interest, be it Management , Leadership , Social service , World Politics , Personalities , Industries , Health , Computers , Policy making , Governments , Book review etc., Iam from Singapore . My e mail id is : eashwer@pacific.net.sg

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