recognition of death
recognition of deathAn analytical process in which a person is satisfactorily proven to be dead by his doctors. Death may be obvious with clear signs pathognomonic of death (e.g., hypostasis, rigor mortis). If not obvious, death should be identified by "the simultaneous and irreversible onset of apnoea and unconsciousness in the absence of circulation”. Guidance as to recognition of death in the UK also requires that full and extensive attempts at reversing any contributing cause to the cardiorespiratory arrest, have been made—e.g., body temperature, endocrine, metabolic and biochemical abnormalities.
Criteria for recognising death—one or more of the following is fulfilled:
• The individual meets the criteria for not attempting cardiopulmonary resuscitation;
• Attempts at cardiopulmonary resuscitation have failed;
• Treatment aimed at sustaining life has been withdrawn because it has been decided to be of no further benefit to the patient and not in his or her best interest to continue and/or is in respect of the patient’s wishes in an advance directive.