This medical term were found from 3 different sources | Health Encyclopedia
n. absence of vital functions. Death is diagnosed by permanent cessation of the heartbeat. Brain death is defined as permanent functional death of the centres in the brainstem that control breathing, heart rate, and other vital reflexes (including pupillary responses). Many decisions in medicine depend on death being clearly defined and objectively observed. Particular problems arise when a potential organ donor is being kept artificially alive. Legally, two independent medical opinions are required before brain death is agreed and organs can be removed for transplantation. In medical ethics, death is of crucial interest because it elucidates debates about *personhood and prompts consideration of the duties owed to the living and the deceased. Religious perspectives on death may inform the ways in which people perceive the withdrawal of medical treatment and organ donation. See dying.
Permanent cessation of all vital functions. The classic indicators of death are the permanent cessation of heart and lung function, and, in almost all cases, these remain the criteria by which death is certified. Brain death is the irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brainstem. The diagnosis of death under normal circumstances, when the individual is not on a ventilator, is based on the absence of breathing, absence of heartbeat, and on the pupils being fixed wide open and unresponsive to light.
When an individual is on a ventilator, the criteria for diagnosing brain death are based on clear evidence of irreversible damage to the brain; persistent deep coma; no attempts at breathing when the patient is taken off the ventilator; and lack of brainstem function.
(See also death, sudden; mortality.)
“Death is often, at the start, in a particular organ, i.e. local. If the part can be saved in time life may be preserved. At the approach of death the value of a particular organ strikes one forcibly. There may be no need for constitutional medication. The one suffering part may be the whole case. In many chronic cases certain organs claim and must have special attention.” (Dr J. Compton Burnet)
Most important of such organs are the heart, which can be sustained by a few grains of Cayenne; the brain (Ginkgo, Skullcap, Kola); stomach (Peppermint); liver (Dandelion); spleen (New Jersey tea). See: LIFE DROPS.
When all desire for food has ceased, sips of honey-water or Balm tea sweetened with honey offer a comforting and sustaining support.