The cessation of life. In lower multicellular organisms, d. is a gradual process at the cellular level, because tissues vary in their ability to withstand deprivation of oxygen; in higher organisms, a cessation of integrated tissue and organ functions; in humans, manifested by the loss of heartbeat, by the absence of spontaneous breathing, and by cerebral d.. SYN: mors. [A.S. d.]
- black d. term applied to the worldwide epidemic of the 14th century, of which some 60 million persons are said to have died; the descriptions indicate that it was pneumonic plague.
- brain d. SYN: cerebral d..
- cerebral d. a clinical syndrome characterized by the permanent loss of cerebral and brainstem function, manifested by absence of responsiveness to external stimuli, absence of cephalic reflexes, and apnea. An isoelectric electroencephalogram for at least 30 minutes in the absence of hypothermia and poisoning by central nervous system depressants supports the diagnosis. SYN: brain d..
- d. certificate official, legal document and vital record, signed by a licensed physician or other designated authority, that includes cause of d., decedent's name, sex, place of residence, date of d.; other information, e.g., birth date, birth place, occupation may be included; the immediate cause of d. is recorded on the first line of the certificate, followed by the condition(s) giving rise to this, with the underlying cause on the last line; the underlying cause is coded and tabulated in official publications of mortality.
- cot d. SYN: sudden infant d. syndrome.
- crib d. SYN: sudden infant d. syndrome.
- crude d. rate SYN: d. rate.
- fetal d. d. prior to the complete expulsion or extraction from the mother of a product of conception, irrespective of the duration of pregnancy. Fetal d. is considered early if it takes place in the first 20 weeks of gestation; middle (intermediate) if it takes place from 21–28 weeks of gestation, and late if it takes place after 28 weeks.
- genetic d. d. of the bearer of a gene at any age before generating living offspring. May be compatible with good health and long life. SEE ALSO: genetic lethal.
- infant d. d. of a liveborn infant within the first year.
- local d. d. of a part of the body or of a tissue by necrosis.
- maternal d. d. of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days after the termination of gestation, irrespective of the duration and site of pregnancy and the cause of d.; two periods are recognized in the 42-day interval : period one includes day 1 to day 7; period two includes day 8 to day 42. Maternal deaths are further classified as: direct maternal d., d. resulting from obstetric complications of the gestation, labor, or puerperium, and from interventions, omissions, incorrect treatment, or a chain of events caused by any of the above; indirect maternal d., an obstetric d. resulting from previously existing disease or from disease developing during pregnancy, labor, or the puerperium; it is not directly due to obstetric causes, but to conditions aggravated by the physiologic effects of pregnancy.
- neonatal d. d. of a young, liveborn infant; classified as: early neonatal d., d. of a liveborn infant occurring fewer than 7 completed days (168 hours) from the time of birth; late neonatal d., d. of a liveborn infant occurring after 7 completed days of age but before 28 completed days.
- perinatal d. an inclusive term referring to both stillborn infants and neonatal deaths.
- programmed cell d. SYN: apoptosis.
- somatic d., systemic d. d. of the entire body, as distinguished from local d..
- sudden d. d. occurring rapidly and generally unexpectedly; usually from a cardiac dysrhythmia or myocardial infarction, but also from any cause of rapid d., e.g., pulmonary embolus, stroke, ruptured aortic aneurysm, aortic dissection.
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Dying Experience at the Hitchcock

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death 'deth n
1) the irreversible cessation of all vital functions esp. as indicated by permanent stoppage of the heart, respiration, and brain activity: the end of life see BRAIN DEATH
2) the cause or occasion of loss of life <drinking was the \death of him>
3) the state of being dead <in \death as in life>

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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). Usually two independent medical opinions are required before brain death is agreed, but organs such as kidneys may then legally be removed for transplantation surgery before the heart has stopped.

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(deth) the cessation of life; permanent cessation of all vital bodily functions. For legal and medical purposes, the following definition of death has been proposed—the irreversible cessation of all of the following: (1) total cerebral function, (2) spontaneous function of the respiratory system, and (3) spontaneous function of the circulatory system.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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